Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday set a Jan. 29 special election to fill state Sen. Carol Alvarado’s seat in the Texas House, hours after she was sworn in to the upper chamber.
Alvarado, D-Houston, won a special election Dec. 11 to fill the Texas Senate seat vacated by U.S. Rep.-elect Sylvia Garcia, who was elected in November to replace U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston. Green, who first was elected to the House from the newly-created District 29 in 1992, announced he would not run for reelection last November.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. Jan. 3 to file for the election, while early voting starts Jan. 14.
The heavily Hispanic district covers part of the Heights, cutting southeast through downtown and South Houston to Beltway 8.
Even before Abbott set the date, multiple candidates had said they planned to run for the seat, and more are said to be considering whether to jump into the race.
Christina Morales, the president and CEO of Morales Funeral Home in Houston’s East End, announced on Facebook earlier this month that she would seek the seat. Martha Fierro, a Republican who finished third in the race for Garcia’s Senate seat, announced on Twitter the next day that she intended to run for the seat.
Alvarado had held the seat since 2009, winning an open race after incumbent state Rep. Rick Noriega ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.
The district voted 67 percent to 29 percent in favor of Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016.
Melissa Noriega, Rick Noriega’s wife, has said she is considering a run for the seat. She previously served on Houston City Council and held the District 145 seat in 2005 while her husband served in Afghanistan.
Abbott also set a special election Jan. 29 to replace state Rep. Joe Pickett, an El Paso Democrat, who is stepping down over health issues related to a cancer diagnosis.