Don’t Stall Democracy, Governor

The battle to replace the late Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston) is fully underway. Rep. Carol Alvarado and former Commissioner Sylvia Garcia have been fundraising, blockwalking, volunteering, picking up endorsements and so much more. A runoff is expected with multiple candidates throwing their hat in the ring, including Republican RW Bray. There is only one thing missing from this race… an election day.

Robert Miller, in his law firm’s blog, explains,

Earliest scenario:  If the canvas occurs November 21 and the Governor issues a writ of election the same day, the special election could be held Saturday, December 15.  The local canvas could occur December 26, and the runoff election could be set for January 8.
Latest scenario:  If the canvas occurs December 6, the Governor could issue the writ of election on December 26.  The election could be called for February 5.  If the local canvas then occurs February 15, the Governor could wait until March 6 to order a March 30 runoff election.
Summary:  The SD 6 special election could occur as soon as December 15 or as late as February 5.  The runoff could occur as soon as January 8 or as late as March 30.
All of this is at the Governor’s discretion. He can choose to act swiftly so that Houston’s southeast side may be properly represented in the Texas Senate or he can stall and obstruct the process. Obviously, the Governor and his Party benefit from keeping the balance in the Senate at 20 Republicans to a mere 10 Democrats until the vacancy is filled.
Governor wasted little time in calling a special election to replace fellow Republican Fred Brown, who left a vacancy in House District 14 in 2011 in order to run an auto dealership.
Over half of the 83rd Session will have passed if he makes Houstonians wait until March 30. At that point, the senator-elect will lose additional time dealing with logistics: hiring staff, setting up offices, studying and reviewing legislation, etc.
In a press release, Garcia said,
This is a simple taxation without representation issue. The working families of our district, most of whom are Latino and African American, deserve to have their voices heard in Austin without delay.”
The Governor should have integrity and call the election as soon as possible.