Note: This report has been updated since we sent our Breaking News alert.
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) has withdrawn from the SD14 special runoff election. Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt (D) will succeed former Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin).
“I have decided to forego the runoff for Senate and focus my efforts on winning a Democratic majority and promoting an aggressive, progressive agenda in the Texas House,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I will be working hard for District 51 and the entire state.”
Eckhardt nearly won the July 14 special election outright, receiving 49.75% of the vote, including a majority in Travis Co. Rodriguez finished second with 34% of the vote.
Rodriguez’s withdrawal eliminates any potentially thorny issues arising from the scheduling of a special election to fill his seat if he were to win the runoff election, including the potential of the Democrats being down a potentially crucial vote for Speaker in January.
“I congratulate Sarah Eckhardt on her performance in the election, and I wish her well,” Rodriguez said. “As Dean of the Travis County delegation, I look forward to working with her to carve a progressive path forward for our shared community.”
Eckhardt said she has “deep respect” for Rodriguez in a Facebook post. “I look forward to joining forces with him in the next session to advance our shared progressive values.”
Once Eckhardt is sworn in, there will be 10 women serving in the Texas Senate for the first time in state history.
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