Likely number of voters who will decide the next senator for District 13.

On July 16, 78 residents of Harris Co. and 16 residents of Fort Bend Co. will determine who will represent more than 800K in the Texas Senate for the next four years. There are 223 voting precincts in SD13 (186 in Harris Co., 37 in Fort Bend Co.), so the majority of those precincts have no one eligible to choose the successor to Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), who was selected to replace the late El Franco Lee on the ballot for Harris Co. Commissioner on Saturday.

Section 145.036, Election Code, provides that “the appropriate executive committee of each political party making nominations for the general election for state and county officers may make a replacement nomination for the office sought by the withdrawing candidate.” In this case, it is a district executive committee. A majority of eligible precinct chairs constitutes a quorum (See subsection (d).) and a majority vote of those present and voting is sufficient for a replacement to be named. In other words, fewer than 50 votes may be enough to elect a new senator.

Ellis essentially became a new Harris Co. Commissioner, representing more than 1.1 million people, with the support of 76 people. If a sitting House member is selected to succeed Ellis, a couple of dozen people will select a new member of the House. Reps. Borris Miles (D-Houston) and Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) are actively campaigning for Ellis’s seat, and Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) is considering a run.