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Almost four months after his conviction on 11 felony fraud counts, Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) announced he would resign, effective Thursday.

Sen. Carlos Uresti

Sen. Carlos
Uresti

“I am in the process of ensuring that justice is served,” Uresti wrote in a letter posted on his Facebook page. “I need to attend to my personal matters and properly care for my family. So, keeping in mind the best interests of my constituents and my family, I believe it to be most prudent that I step down from my elected office.”

Uresti has maintained his innocence throughout the legal process and has said he would appeal the verdict. Shortly after the verdict was announced, the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus called on him to step down, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) stripped him of his committee assignments. Uresti surrendered his law license in April.

Uresti was found guilty of wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a bankrupt frac-sand company and its executives. A co-defendant was also found guilty. He faces a further criminal trial on unrelated charges of bribery and money laundering in connection with a West Texas prison’s medical services contract. That trial has been delayed until October 22 on the motion of a co-defendant.

Uresti was not up for re-election until 2020. His resignation will trigger a special election. Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) and former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) have previously announced plans to seek the seat. Other candidates will almost certainly emerge.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC