By SKYE SEIPP
Editor’s note: This story was updated on March 4 at 12:45 p.m. to reflect current polling and delegate count numbers in Texas.
After gaining support from resigned Democratic candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden won nine states and is expected to win in Maine after 14 states held primary elections on Super Tuesday.
The wins revived Biden’s campaign and pushed him ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate count at 311-245, according to the New York Times. Despite a loss for Sanders in Texas, his projected win in California and three other states kept his run for nomination alive.
With 99 percent of polling locations reporting, Biden held a 34.43 to 29.98 percent lead over Sanders in Texas.
“Winning means uniting America, not sowing seeds of division and anger and hate,” Biden said at a rally in Los Angeles. “We gotta beat Donald Trump, and we will, but we can’t become like him.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out this weekend and endorsed Biden in Dallas. State Rep. Victoria Neave also endorsed Biden.
She said the most important thing about this election is flipping the House in Texas. Biden has the best chance of getting independent and some Republican voters to switch to the Democratic party, she said Tuesday night while awaiting election results at the Dallas County Democrats watch party.
“Regardless of who comes out, I think it’s important for all of us … to unify,” Neave said. “In the end, the goal is to defeat Trump.”
Emily Reyes, a Collin College student, said she voted for Sanders because of his proposed policy to make community college available for everyone.
“I like his ideas and beliefs, and I feel like he would get it done,” she said. “Community colleges should be available to people that need it.”
Ramon Hernandez, a law student at Southern Methodist University, voted for Sanders on election day. Despite reports of long lines in Dallas County, he was able to vote in 10 minutes. “I think that he’s a breath of fresh air to the same old same old politics,” he said. “Even though his positions might be a little radical for most, you have to be sometimes to get change done. I was a big fan of his early on because he was courageous enough to take a position and stand by it.”
He added that Sanders would be the best candidate for the Hispanic community. Hernandez said his stances on health care, education and immigration are all beneficial for the Latinx community. “
We need all the help we can get to be able to progress,” Hernandez said. “Our community needs to produce more educated people who are able to obtain a better quality of life.”
A poll released March 1 conducted by the Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler had Sanders favored by 42 percent of Hispanic voters in Texas and leading overall in the state.
He threw his support for the U.S. senator spot to Austin-based activist and organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez because he wants to see representation from the Hispanic community leading Texas.
“I think putting our Hispanic brand on a very Hispanic state is a good thing,” Hernandez said. “We need to rally behind candidates that represent our causes.”
Texas’ senior senator, Republican John Cornyn, has been in office since 2002.
He defeated his closest opponent by double digits in his party’s primary.
Twelve candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination to face him in November.
The top two will head to a runoff May 26. With 99 percent of polling locations reporting, Mary “MJ” Hegar, a former Air Force helicopter pilot, led with 22.36 percent of the votes.
Fighting for the second-place spot is Ramirez and Royce West, a state senator from Dallas. West currently leads over Ramirez 14.53-13.26 percent. Ramirez gained late momentum by being endorsed by U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Despite her slow start, Ramirez remained positive throughout.
“I know I was underestimated by people in Washington,” she said. “But you know what? I’m used to being underestimated.”
West was neck and neck for the third spot with Annie “Mamá” Garcia, but, he told CBS 11 that he had not lost hope.
“You know the story of David and Goliath,” he said. “I will end up being David.”
contributed to this report