SD14 special: Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt (R) remains below 50% following the release of what we expect to be final unofficial results from Travis and Bastrop Cos. Eckhardt sits at 49.75%, which puts her in a runoff against Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), who finished with 33.9% of the vote.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has not yet set the date for the runoff election. If the runoff election is scheduled to occur after August 17, it may not be possible to replace Rodriguez as the Democratic nominee for HD51 if he were to win the SD14 runoff. Section 145.032, Election Code, provides that a “candidate may not withdraw from the general election after the 74th day before election day,” which is August 17. Rodriguez’s name would have to remain on the ballot under Section 145.039, Election Code.

Assuming voters re-elected an ineligible Rodriguez, under this scenario, then a special election would be required to fill his unexpired term, conceivably both in 2019-20 and 2021-22. The timing of that election would depend on when the vacancy occurred, which would be somewhere between the SD14 special runoff election day or the day those results were canvassed, if Rodriguez were to win. The timing of that election affects the timing of the runoff election if one were needed.

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