Bianca Gracia, a Republican candidate who assured everyone that God wanted her to win and that He would punish them for not voting for her, has lost her race. It wasn’t even close.
When Gracia entered the race for Texas State Senate this past December, she made it clear she was a dream candidate for Republicans. The homeschooling mother of two was “NOT a politician,” she said. Instead, she was a “Constitutional Christian Conservative.”
Actually, she was a politician, just not an elected one. Gracia had been the “Statewide Hispanic Engagement Director for the Republican Party of Texas and State Director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition.” For years, she served as the president of a group called “Latinos for Trump” and was a precinct chair in Harris County. The only thing lacking in her political history was an election victory.
But in case there was any doubt about her eventual success, she put it all to rest immediately, telling one reporter a week after announcing her candidacy, “I have conquered it already. It is mine. I am claiming the victory.”
I guess she needed more assurances, though. Since her credentials meant very little to the Republican voters she needed to win over in a primary, she went all in on the God talk. She said in January that God was on her side:
“I literally am running against the establishment. But the Lord told me, ‘You’re going to the Capitol, and you’re gonna make those walls shake, and you’re gonna make the devil run!’”
“You ain’t taking my guns,” Gracia shouted. “You ain’t going after our faith. You ain’t going after our family. And let me tell you something: I will fight to the death because if that’s what my ancestors did, I will do it.”
“Nancy Pelosi, you can come and take it,” Gracia continued. “I’d like to see her call me down to that Capitol. I’ve got a few words for her and all her little cronies. And believe me, I’m taking a whole bunch of pastors with me because I got a whole bunch of pastors now. I said, ‘We’re gonna go perform an exorcism in there.’”
The reference to Nancy Pelosi was a bizarre one in part because Gracia was running for State Senate, not Congress. But the message was clear: God wanted her to win the race… that she had already won in her mind.
Perhaps the poll numbers didn’t reflect any of that, though, because weeks later, she told right-wing conspiracy theorist Chris McDonald that God would punish anyone who didn’t vote for her.
“I just finished an interview with some pastors,” Gracia reported. “And I told them, I said straight up, ‘I’m only going to win if the church shows up. That’s it. If you do not show up, then you will be held accountable because I have been appointed and assigned for this position and God is testing you all. I don’t have anything else to say to you other than that. So, you’re going to either have to show up and show out, or you’re going to have to deal with it with the Lord.’”
“That’s where we’re at,” she continued. “We’ve drawn the line. We’re past the party lines. We are now fighting a very evil, evil, demonic [hierarchy].”
So not only was Gracia God’s Chosen Candidate, He was going to punish all those primary voters who didn’t back her up. Which suggested that God wasn’t powerful enough to put her over the finish line on His own, and that her predetermined victory statement was actually a lie…
You know how this story ends.
On Tuesday, Gracia did not win the Republican primary. She didn’t really even come close. Mayes Middleton, an elected Republican state representative who decided to switch over to the other chamber, comfortably won the race with well over 50% of the votes in a crowded field.
Does that mean God was lying to Gracia? Or that she was lying to everyone? Would she at least admit she misinterpreted the signals?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for a theological explanation. Instead, Gracia has spent the past couple of days claiming the election was somehow stolen from her… which is all the more amusing because she’s unable to blame Democrats for her loss. This was a primary, which means she has to find a way to blame Republicans instead, even though she was quite literally a party leader and precinct chair and presumably knew all the ins and outs of the election system.
Nothing screams sore loser like a Republican leader complaining about the Republican “elite” preventing her from winning a race that she didn’t even come close to winning. (Somehow, Middleton had no problem getting Republican voters in the same district to vote for him despite all those allegedly broken machines.)
The reality is that God was never on Gracia’s side. She just said it because she figured conservative Christians were gullible enough to fall for it. She threatened them with God’s wrath because she also figured it would scare people into voting for her. It’s not like she doubled down on a serious policy agenda since Republicans gave up that approach a long time ago. What I would love to hear is any Republican just admit all that.
But they won’t. They never will. The people who claim to speak on God’s behalf never have the courage to admit they’re making it all up as they go along, and they rarely blame God when they lose unless they’re making a pointless statement about how this was surely part of His Master Plan. They rely too much on religious control to let their ideas and résumé do the talking for them.
The State Senate seat will still be filled by a right-wing Christian. The state is not better off because Gracia lost. But Gracia’s failed campaign is a reminder of how Republicans will always use God’s name as a personal endorsement—without ever being called out on it after they lose.