Without a doubt, the strangest political story of 2010 will probably be the fluidity of Senate District 22. With a special election date set for May, and a new cast of candidates considering bids, Empower Texans views the race as an entirely new one from the primary. In response to inquiries from many quarters, it must be noted we have not made an endorsement in this special election.won the election for an office he was no longer seeking.
As a result, Mr. Averitt has now resigned from the State Senate and Texas Governor Rick Perry has called for a special election to be held on May 8.
Now here’s where things get crazy. The May special election is simply to fill the remaining seven months on Mr. Averitt’s term, not to pick a party nominee.
Over the summer, the Republican county chairs will appoint a nominee… and so will the Democrats. Under state law, the Democratic Party gets another bite at the apple they passed on in the normal filing season.
It is possible someone could win the May special election, yet not be either party’s nominee in the fall. In a span of less than eight months, it’s possible the people of SD22 could have three state senators!
Several Republicans have either already announced their candidacy or expressed interest in the special election, including Mr. Yancy. Also expected to run are 9/11 hero Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell and former State Sen. David Sibley. It should be noted Mr. Sibley was the District 22 senator who, upon leaving that august body, endorsed Mr. Averitt and then engaged in a successful Austin-based lobby practice.
The only Democrat to announce for the special election so far is Baylor political science professor Gayle Avant.
The May election will be wide-open, meaning all Republican and Democratic candidates will all be in the mix together. If no one gathers 50-percent-plus-one votes cast, it will go to a June run-off.
Organizationally, Empower Texans and the Empower Texans PAC is currently unaligned in this new election. This fact is now reflected on our 2010 Endorsements page.
The May 8 special election in SD 22 is clearly a very different race than the primary, with obviously a very different alignment of candidates and issues to be considered. Over the next several days, we will be reaching out to candidates, as they announce and file. We look forward to visiting with them, and hear from you.