Abbott calls for special election to fill Watson senate seat

Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Tuesday setting the special election for Texas State Senate District 14 on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. The special election will fill the seat being vacated by Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin).

The special election would ordinarily be held on Saturday, May 2, 2020, but the Governor utilized his powers under Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code to suspend provisions of the Texas Election Code and allow the election to be held at the later date due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

This postponement follows Gov. Abbott’s disaster declaration issued last week as the State of Texas continues to respond to COVID-19 and is another step the state is taking to protect public health and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Sen. Watson, a fixture in the Senate for more than a decade, is set to vacate his seat on April 30 to take on a new endeavor as dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs. Sen. Watson serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Nominations and sits on the committees overseeing Finance, Education, and Higher Education as well as the Sunset Advisory Commission.

Candidates who wish to have their names placed on the special election ballot must file their applications with the Secretary of State beginning Wednesday, April 29, 2020, with a deadline no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2020. Early voting will begin on Monday, June 29, 2020.

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