Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered January 29 special elections to fill vacant HD79 and HD145, triggered by the resignation of Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) and the promotion of Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston).

Candidates must file with the Secretary of State by January 3. Early voting will begin January 14. Those seats will be vacant when the 86th Texas Legislature convenes in January because the representatives elected to those positions in November have informed Abbott that they will “decline to qualify” for those offices under Section 201.001, Election Code.

In HD79, Pickett announced his resignation effective January 4 for health reasons. Art Fierro, the chair of the El Paso Community College board, and El Paso council member Michiel Noe have announced their intentions to run.

HD145 became vacant when Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) was sworn in today (Friday) after winning a special election earlier this month for vacant SD6. Houston nurse Martha Fierro, who received 23% of the vote in that SD6 special election, and Houston funeral home director Christina Morales have announced their intentions to seek the seat. Former Houston council member Melissa Noriega, who served during the 2005 legislative session as a temporary acting representative, is believed to have filed for the race. Libertarian Clayton Hunt, who received 10% of the vote in the general election for the seat, has an active CrowdPAC page for the race.

Our Crib Sheets have been updated to show all candidates we’re aware of in each race.

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