Special elections are being held Tuesday for two vacancies in the Texas State House. The 150-member body is controlled by Republicans, who have an 82-66 edge over Democrats.
Under Texas special election law, all candidates appear on a single ballot. If someone gets a majority of the vote, they are the winner. Otherwise, the top two finishers advance to a runoff.
This San Antonio area district has been vacant since August 19, when Democrat Leo Pacheco resigned. Pacheco was elected twice, first winning by a 58% to 42% margin over John Lujan in 2018. Last November, Pacheco prevailed over Adam Salyer by an almost identical 57% to 40%.
Five candidates - 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans - will appear on the ballot. Lujan and Salyer are the two Republicans. Lujan was the most recent Republican to hold the seat. Although Democrats have won each general election here since at least 2012, Lujan prevailed in a January, 2016 special election, serving out that term before losing in November.
Lujan has the support of Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP groups, as the party looks to flip the seat. According to the Texas Tribune, "It is the first real opportunity that statewide Republicans have to put their money where their mouths are after President Joe Biden underperformed across South Texas last year, creating new pick-up opportunities in the predominantly Hispanic region."
If no candidate gets a majority, Abbott will schedule a date for the runoff election.
District 10 (Runoff)
This solidly Republican district, located between Dallas and Waco, has been vacant since July 30, when Jake Ellzey (R) resigned. Ellzey had won a special election on July 27th to represent the state's 6th congressional district.
None of the eight candidates received a majority of the vote in the August 31 all-party election. Consistent with the lean of the district, the top two finishers were both Republicans, removing any suspense over which party will win in the runoff. Brian Harrison finished first with 41%, John Wray was second with 36%.
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