SD6 open: Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) informed Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that she will resign, effective January 2, and urged him to call a special election for November 6 to fill her unexpired term. Garcia is the Democratic nominee to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) in a heavily Democratic district. Garcia’s seat is not otherwise up for election until 2020.
Even though Garcia’s resignation is not effective until January 2, state law considers her seat vacant within a couple of weeks. Section 201.023, Election Code provides that a “vacancy occurs on the date the resignation is accepted by the appropriate authority or on the eighth day after the date of its receipt by the authority, whichever is earlier.”
Reps. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) have previously announced plans to seek the seat, but an election coinciding with the general election could give each pause. Section 141.033, Election Code, prohibits a candidate from filing elections for a place on the ballot for two or more offices that “are to be voted on at one or more elections held on the same day.” Alvarado and Hernandez are seeking re-election to the House, and that election could occur on the same day as a special election. The only exception in state law we could find is for candidates for President or Vice President, a provision that has been historically important for a pair of U.S. senators from the state, but we found no exception for a sitting legislator simultaneously seeking another legislative office.
LTGOV: A spokesperson for the campaign of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said he has “no plans” to debate Democratic opponent Mike Collier. Presumably, that decision also applies to Libertarian challenger Kerry McKennon. Patrick did not debate his primary challenger.
SD19 special: The Combined Law Enforcement Assocs. of Texas PAC endorsed Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio). Meanwhile, early voting continues through Friday. Through today, 2,726 people have voted early in person in Bexar Co. That total does not include ballots cast by mail. In Val Verde Co., 567 people have voted early in person through today.
SD25: Austin Mayor Steve Adler endorsed challenger Steve Kling (D) over Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels).
Kaufman Co.: Tracy Gray defeated incumbent County Court at Law Judge Dennis Jones, 56%-45%, in the special do-over election. Originally, Gray lost by one vote to Dennis in the Republican primary, but that race ended up tied after a judge ordered a provisional ballot be counted for Gray. The judge certified additional ballots and tossed others in which witnesses could not recall for whom they had voted. The voided ballots were connected to a Terrell poll worker implicated in a vote harvesting scheme.
Austin: Council member Ellen Troxclair endorsed communications consultant Frank Ward to succeed her. She previously announced she would not seek re-election.
LULAC Election: The League of United Latin American Citizens chose former Rep. Domingo Garcia (D-Dallas) as its new national president at its annual convention in Phoenix.
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