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Election date set for Senate District 6. Governor schedules Jan. 26, 2013 to replace Gallegos

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry set Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, as the special election date to fill the Texas State Senate District 6 seat formerly held by the late Sen. Mario Gallegos.

Candidates for this special election must file applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2012. The early voting period runs from Wednesday, January 9 to Tuesday, January 22.

The winner will serve a four year term beginning in 2013. Gallegos died of liver disease on October 16, 2012 at the age of 62. This was too late to remove his name from the ballot, and he received the most votes for the position.

Declared candidates for the seat include former county commissioner Sylvia Garcia, state representative Carol Alvarado, and previous Republican candidate R. W. Bray. Also a possible fourth candidate is League City resident Rodolfo Reyes.

The legislature will meet in Austin for a six month session, starting on January 8th. Many serious issues must be resolved and voted on, including education budgets, transportation planning and funding, economic opportunities, and healthcare plans.

The two democratic candidates have already started their campaigns to the public, with statements about their positions on key issues.

Garcia has issued several papers criticizing the Governor for not deciding on an election date. Even now that the date is set, she said the decision is “bittersweet.” “Governor Perry’s delay in his decision means our communities will have no voice in Austin for nearly 10 percent of the 2013 session.” “Make no mistake, this session will begin with an empty seat for Senate District 6 at a time when we will see battles over our children’s education, expanding Medicaid to bring quality healthcare to our families, and fighting for good jobs in the Houston area.” She went on to say it was important to elect a senator with the courage and integrity to stand up to Rick Perry.

Alvarado, who was endorsed by Gallegos and his family, said she was pleased that Perry had set the date, calling it “prompt.”

“In just a few weeks, the Texas Legislature will convene with serious issues facing our state – restoring funding to our public schools, creating good jobs and economic opportunity, making college affordable and protecting our senior citizens,” she said.

“The people of Senate District 6 need and deserve representation on these and all issues, and a January 26th election will give them a senator sooner rather than later.”