The Texas 27th Congressional District needs a representative. That’s what Governor Greg Abbott thinks anyway, and is why the governor called an emergency special election o fill Blake Farenthold’s seat.
“The governor in conjunction with Attorney General Ken Paxton felt we did meet those (needs) based on disaster, in this case recovery from Hurricane Harvey last year,” said KRIS 6 News Political Analyst Dr. David Smith. “He was able to call for an emergency special election.”
Making sure the Coastal Bend gets its share of federal disaster relief money is just one reason Gov. Abbott made the decision he did.
“We have military, we have oil and gas business interests,” said Smith. “We have voters that need to know that their interests are being looked after.”
The emergency special election is scheduled for Saturday, June 30th, a little more than a month after the primary run-off. Anyone who pays their filing fee of $3,125 by 5 p.m. Friday will be on the ballot.
“It’s pretty much an open game, if you will,” said Smith. “Everybody that files to run, they’re all going to appear on the ballot at the same time.”
If nobody receives more than 50% of the vote in the emergency special election, there will be another run-off in late September.
However, Smith doesn’t think a run-off will be necessary.
“You’ll start to see voter fatigue,” said Smith. “I think people will know who they want in there, or have a pretty good idea based on who won in May.”
If there is a run-off in the emergency special election, it will be between the top two vote-getters, regardless of party. That means two Republicans could face off against one another, or two Democrats.
Nueces County Clerk Kara Sands says her office will be ready come June 30th, despite having to run an unexpected election so soon after the run-off.
“There’s a lot of archaic statutes,” said Sands. “We’re glad we don’t have to cut through the red tape and we can get everything done.”
And there’s a good chance voters will pack polling places for the special election.
“Because of the importance of the election, we might see a higher than average turnout,” said Smith.
KRIS 6 News has learned that all four candidates involved in the primary run-offs, Democrats Roy Barrera and Eric Holguin, along with Republicans Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud will run in the emergency special election.