Texas Special Elections close out vacated state legislative seats

Three vacated seats were filled by electors Jan. 28 by voters in three districts for the Texas House of Representatives. Yesterday general runoff elections were held in Districts 28, 100 and 148 after the Nov. 5, 2019, election. None of the seats switched parties after yesterday’s vote.

In District 28, where Republican Rep. John Zerwas resigned to take a position with the University of Texas System, another Republican replaced him. Republican Gary Gates defeated Democrat Elizabeth Markowitz in the runoff receiving 58 percent of the vote.

In District 100, where Democrat Eric Johnson left to serve as the new mayor of Dallas, a Democrat replaced him. Democrat Lorraine Birabil defeated Democrat James Armstrong III in the runoff, winning 66.3 percent of the vote. This was the only special election in which two candidates of the same party ran against each other.

In District 148 in Houston, after Democrat Jessica Farrar resigned last fall, Democrat Anna Eastman defeated Republican Luis LaRotta in the runoff, receiving 65.5 percent of the vote.

All three will serve the remainder of the term they are filling, which end January 2021. They all have filed to run for office in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020. However, a primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020. All three will or could face a rematch in either the primary on March 3 or the general election in November.

In 2019, 77 state legislative special elections were held in 24 states, Ballotpedia reports. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections occurred every year. In 2019, 8 state legislative seats switched party control–five from Democrats to Republicans, two from Republicans to Democrats, and one from a Republican to an independent, Ballotpedia reports.



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