Another Houston area election is looming on the horizon. Even before the votes were counted last week, it was presumed that Senator Mario Gallegos would win re-election posthumously and he did.
Thus, a special election must be called to fill his seat. The Governor will call the election and set the date but is under no specific timeline to make that happen.
Two candidates have made their plans to seek the seat known. Former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia announced her intentions to seek the seat last week. Most of the district is within the boundaries of the Precinct she represented as Commissioner.
State Representative Carol Alvarado is expected to formally announce her intent to run for the seat today. She has the blessing of the Gallegos family and they will join her for the announcement.
There are other candidates eyeing the seat but Garcia and Alvarado are both well-funded, having money in the bank from previous campaigns.
Why does it matter so much? There are only 31 State Senators in Texas. That is fewer than the number of Members of Congress. It is an extraordinarily powerful position.
As the Legislature convenes in January, all of those involved will be watching this race with highly focused attention. Will one of the candidates gain the support of trial lawyers while the other gains support from Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR)? Who will business support and who will labor support?
For the most part, this campaign will be a family feud. Both candidates are solid Democrats with fairly liberal records.
Rick Noriega, a former State Representative for the area, is also said to be considering entering the fray. He may yet do so.
Others are likely to enter as it is anticipated to be a short and intense campaign, though we will not know for certain until the Governor sets the election date.
Did I mention that the window for fundraising in city campaigns opens in February?