Texas Lobbyist News

As state legislators seek higher office, three special legislative elections held January 5 have headed for runoffs. None of the three races had a candidate meet the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff, but each race has a clear frontrunner.

In Senate District 26, house representatives Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) and Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) will face each other in the runoff. Frontrunner Fischer received 44% of the vote to Menendez’s 25%. Both have been House representatives since 2001 and will replace Senator Letitica Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), who is running for San Antonio mayor.

House District 123 will see a runoff between Democrat Diego Bernal, who received 47% of the vote, and Republican Nunzio Previtera, who received 21%. Bernal and Previtera beat two Democrats, an Independent, and a Green Party candidate in the race to replace Rep. Michael Villarreal (D-San Antonio), who is running for San Antonio mayor.

House District 17 needs to replace Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), who resigned his seat to become general counsel for the Department of Agriculture. The special election runoff will be between Republicans John Cyrier and Brent Golemon, who received 46% and 24% of the vote respectively.

The special election for Lois Kolkhorst’s seat in House District 13 is set for January 13, 2015. Kolkhorst was sworn in as a state senator on January 5.

The governor will set the date for the runoff elections after Bexar County canvasses the votes on January 12. The special election will be held within 21-45 days—well into the legislative session, which begins January 13. Sen. Van de Putte has promised to represent San Antonio until a successor is in place.