The Texas Legislature will start the 2015 session with a handful of empty chairs and unfinished elections. State Senator Glenn Hegar, a Republican, was elected state comptroller of public accounts, and Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio resigned after President Obama appointed him to be secretary of housing and urban development. Let the spree begin. State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, having lost the race for lieutenant governor, is running for mayor of her hometown. Representative Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, was just elected to another term in the House but wants the job Van de Putte is seeking. Representative Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican who also won re-election, is running for Hegar’s Senate seat. Representatives José Menéndez and Trey Martinez Fischer, both San Antonio Democrats, are eyeing Van de Putte’s Senate seat.
And now for some completely different election news: A seemingly innocuous Texas Senate bill, passed and awaiting the governor’s signature, may drastically affect Austin’s local elections, even extending the terms of the mayor and three City Council members by six months.
Senate Bill 100, legislation from San Antonio Dem Leticia Van de Putte, was drafted to bring the state in line with federal law requiring that federal ballots be delivered to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before an election. It preserves Texas’ current March primary date, while postponing potential primary run-offs to the fourth Tuesday in May, so as to meet the 45-day requirement.
Texas: Floor Amendment to Texas SB 100 Preserves May Uniform Election Date in Limited Circumstances | The Austin Chronicle/Texas Municipal League
It’s slow going at City Hall. No City Council meeting, and a Public Health committee meeting on nonprofits has been postponed to next week. It’s worth looking outside City Hall for action – and luckily, action obliged, as a state senate bill looks to throw local elections into chaos.
S.B. 100 from San Antonio Dem Leticia Van de Putte, brings the state in line with federal law requiring federal ballots be delivered to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before the election. It preserves Texas’ current March primary date, while lengthening any primary run-off by the 45 day requirement, to the fourth Tuesday in May.