In the special election for House District 145—the seat vacated by now State Sen. Carol Alvarado—none of the eight candidates cleared the hurdle to avoid a runoff. Now, the top vote getters, Democrats Christina Morales and Melissa Noriega, go head-to-head.

Morales led the pack with 35.7 percent by the end of the night. She runs the Morales Memorial Foundation—an organization in Houston’s East End whose mission is to “empower, inspire and educate the Latino Community for future leadership.” She cites her familial ties to the district going back generations as one of the reasons she’s best suited to represent it.

Noriega, who came in second with 31 percent, is a former Houston city council member and state representative stand-in for the district. She served in the 79thlegislative session under a provision that allowed for an active duty legislator to designate a proxy until they return or their term expires. Her husband, then-State Rep. Rick Noriega, chose her. She has also worked for Houston Independent School District and BakerRipley.

Gov. Greg Abbott has yet to announce the runoff election date.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.


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