Blake Farenthold already wasn’t running for re-election, but his decision to resign last week confused the process of picking the 27th Texas Congressional District’s next representative.
“We are now required to hold a special election to fill that vacancy,” said KRIS 6 NEWS political analyst Dr. David Smith. “We cannot go without representation because this is the people’s house, the House of Representatives.”
The special election will be separate from both the May primary run off and the November general election.
Governor Greg Abbott needs to call the special election, and he has a couple options.
The first option is to hold the special election during the next scheduled election. That’s the May run-off, six weeks away, not enough time to realistically complete the process . That means a special election would pushed back to Election Day in November.
“I cannot see allowing a seat to stay vacant that long, because that’s a lack of representation, especially in these communities that were hit by Harvey,” said Smith.
Upcoming votes on hurricane relief and other key issues could force the Gov. Abbott to call an emergency special election, which would take place 36-50 days after the election is called.
In the meantime, 27th District business is handled by the Clerk of the House of Representatives. The Clerk of the House is a career staffer, one who wasn’t elected, and has no connection to the district; leaving the 27th without an advocate.
“We won’t have a Congressman’s voice to really advocate for issues that sometimes may get pushed to the back-burner,” said Smith. “Issues regarding Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid; people being denied or people needing extra help.”
KRIS 6 News reached out to the four candidates involved in May’s run-offs. Republican Bech Bruun’s camp says he will likely run in the special election, especially if he wins the may run-off. Michael Cloud says he won’t comment until the governor calls for the special election.
As for the Democrats, both Roy Barrera and Eric Holguin say they’re considering running in the special election.