Note: This report has been updated since we sent our Breaking News alert.
Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) and Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston) announced they would seek the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston). Garcia is not up for re-election in 2018, so she does not have to give up her Senate seat to run. Walle is up for re-election, so his congressional bid opens the House seat he has held for five terms.
Garcia served two terms as Houston City Controller before being elected Harris Co. Commissioner. She won a special runoff election for her Senate seat over Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), 53%-47%, an election necessitated by the death of former Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston) just before the 2012 general election. Garcia ran for an open congressional seat in 1992 but lost to Green. About three quarters of Garcia’s larger senate district lies within CD29.
Walle, who was an aide to Green for six years, ousted longtime Rep. Kevin Bailey (D-Houston) in the 2008 Democratic primary, 57%-43%.
In a statement, Garcia said she would be a “champion for the people in Washington,” focusing on education, health care and immigration reform. In a tweet, Walle said he would run “an aggressive campaign.”
Walle is the 11th House member and first Democrat to announce plans other than seeking re-election and the third to run for a congressional seat, joining Reps. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) and Kevin Roberts (R-Houston). Garcia is the second sitting senator to seek a congressional seat this cycle, joining Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano).
Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) is “seriously considering” the race. In a tweet, Alvarado said, “I have been humbled by the tremendous support as I consider a run 4 the open seat. I stand ready 2 fight 4 Dreamers, Women, health care & good jobs. Stand by as I consider my options 4 a potential candidacy.” Alvarado lost a 2013 special runoff election for SD6 to Garcia, 53%-47%.
Finally, former Harris Co. Sheriff Adrian Garcia reportedly asked the Harris Co. Democratic Party office for the paperwork needed to file. Garcia lost a 2016 primary challenge to Green, 57%-39%.
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