HD79 special: Three candidates filed to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), whose resignation becomes effective tomorrow (Friday):

  • Art Fierro (D), El Paso marketing and public relations professional and El Paso Community Coll. Board chair
  • Michiel Noe (D), El Paso physician and El Paso council member; and
  • Hans Sassenfeld (R), El Paso resident and Republican activist.

A potential fourth candidate, El Paso investigative company owner Adrian Guerra, did not file despite establishing a campaign website and Facebook page.

Early voting begins January 14 for the January 29 special election.

HD145 special: Eight candidates filed to fill the unexpired House term of Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), who won a December special election to fill the unexpired Senate term of U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston):

  • Elias De La Garza (D), Houston insurance agent who lost the 2008 Democratic primary for the seat to Alvarado (31%)
  • Oscar Del Toro (D), Pasadena print toner business owner who lost 2015 and 2017 races for Pasadena city council
  • Martha Fierro (R), Houston nurse and Republican precinct chair who came in third in the 2018 special election for SD6 won by Alvarado (23%)
  • Ruben Gonsalez (D)
  • Clayton Hunt (L), the 2018 Libertarian nominee for the seat (10%)
  • Christina Morales (D), Houston funeral home executive
  • Alfred Moreno (D), Houston resident; and
  • Melissa Noriega (D), Houston public policy executive, former Houston council member and temporary acting representative during the 2005 legislative session.

Morales’s campaign team includes consultants Marc Campos and Jaime Mercado, who helped guide Alvarado’s outright special election victory last month.

Early voting begins January 14 for the January 29 special election.

Travis Co.: Sherri Soltes, an Austin nonprofit executive who unsuccessfully sought the 2018 Democratic nomination for HD47, announced she would challenge Travis Co. Comm. Gerald Daugherty (R). Former Rep. Valinda Bolton (D-Austin), Rollingwood council member Amy Pattillo and Austin nonprofit executive director Ann Howard are reportedly mulling the race.

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