Cloud Wins Texas Race to Replace Disgraced Ex-Lawmaker Farenthold

(Bloomberg) -- Republican Michael Cloud won a special election on Saturday for the Texas House seat formerly held by Blake Farenthold, who quit Congress after reports that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim by a former staff member.

Cloud, a former chairman of the Victoria County Republican organization, was projected as the winner by Associated Press, and will finish the two-year term Farenthold won in 2016. He’s also the party’s nominee in the regular November election for the Republican-leaning district in and around Corpus Christi.

Farenthold promised to pay back the $84,000 in taxpayer money used to settle the harassment claim, but has yet to do so. Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent Farenthold a letter asking him to give those funds to counties in his district to defray the cost of the special election, but Farenthold said he wouldn’t. The former conservative radio host was first elected in 2010.

Nine candidates were on Saturday’s all-parties ballot, including Democrat Eric Holguin, who Cloud will face again in the November general election.

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