Monday, January 14th was the first day of early voting in two special elections for the Texas House of Representatives. And while the two seats — District 79 in El Paso County and District 145 in Harris County — are at opposite ends of the state, they shared something in common Monday, few voters. Less than 200 people voted in either election on the first day to cast ballots in person.
In the eight-candidate District 145 race to succeed Carol Alvarado, who was elected in December to the Texas Senate, just 120 people voted in person on the first day of early voting, and no ballots by mail have yet been cast. District 145 has approximately 73,000 registered voters. Early voting continues through Friday, January 25. Election Day is Tuesday, January 29.
Candidates in the race include one Republican – Martha Fierro, six Democrats – Melissa Noriega, Christina Morales, Oscar Del Toro, Elias De La Garza, Ruben Gonsalez, Alfred Moreno, and one Libertarian – Clayton Hunt.
In El Paso County, a total of just 199 people voted on the first day of early voting in the special election to succeed Joe Pickett as the State Representative for District 79, which has approximately 90,000 registered voters, including 185 in-person voters and 14 mail ballots. Early voting continues through Friday, January 25. Election Day is Tuesday, January 29.
House District 79 became vacant when Pickett (D – El Paso) stepped down due to health issues, and Gov. Greg Abbott set a special election. The district includes El Paso International Airport and its surrounding areas, Fort Bliss and the northeastern parts of El Paso County. The HD-79 special election winner will complete Pickett’s two-year term.
The three candidates in the race include Republican Hans Sassenfeld, and two Democrats, Art Fierro and Dr. Michiel Noe.
Reform Austin will continue to follow both elections and report the results. If no candidate earns 50 percent or more on January 29th, a runoff will be held several weeks later.