The victory by Republican Gary Gates, who put more than $1.5 million of his own money into his run for state House District 28, is sure to bring a sigh of relief for the GOP in a race that was being tracked far beyond Texas. By the final weeks, the race had escalated into the first big special election of 2020.

In final unofficial results, Gates polled 58% of the vote to 42% for Democrat Eliz Markowitz.

Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren had endorsed Markowitz, and outside groups flooded the race with six-figure checks and television ads. Beto O’Rourke practically made the district a second home after ending his own presidential campaign in November, spending weekends knocking on doors in Katy’s affluent neighborhoods.