Special elections held in Texas House districts

Special elections were held on Sept. 28 for District 10 and District 118 of the Texas House of Representatives. The winners of these special elections will serve until January 2023.

  • In District 10, Brian Harrison defeated fellow Republican John Wray in a general election runoff. Harrison and Wray earned 55.4% and 44.6% of the vote, respectively. The two candidates advanced from the general election on Aug. 31. The seat became vacant after Jake Ellzey (R) won a special election to Texas’ 6th Congressional District on July 27. Ellzey had represented the district since January 2021.
  • In District 118, Frank Ramirez (D) and John Lujan (R) advanced to a general election runoff. Ramirez and Lujan earned 20% and 41.5% of the vote in the general election, respectively. Desi Martinez (D), Katie Farias (D), and Adam Salyer (R) were defeated. The share of votes amongst all Democratic candidates was 49.7% compared to 50.3% earned by Republican candidates. Governor Greg Abbott will schedule a general runoff now that it has become necessary. The seat became vacant on Aug. 19 after Leo Pacheco (D) resigned to teach public administration at San Antonio College. Pacheco had represented the district since 2019.

Republicans have an 82-66 majority in the Texas House with two vacancies. Texas has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of September, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Texas held 28 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

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