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After easily winning the race to succeed outgoing U.S. Congressman Gene Green, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D–Houston) officially submitted her letter of resignation to Gov. Greg Abbott.

With the resignation effective this afternoon, Texas Election Code requires an expedited timeline for a special election because the upcoming legislative session will be less than 60 days away. The code mandates a new election on a Tuesday or Saturday between 21 and 45 days after being called, meaning the latest it could take place.

Abbott responded by scheduling the senate district 6 special election for December 11.

Garcia had previously attempted to have a special election called sooner. After becoming the Democrat nominee, Garcia sent a letter declaring to Abbott her “intent to resign” at the end of the year and asking for a special election to coincide with the November 6 general election.

Abbott’s office disagreed with the legality behind the letter, saying he could only call a special election with a “valid and unequivocal resignation.”

Garcia refused, necessitating a special election separate from the uniform November 6 date.

Just minutes after her resignation announcement, Houston Democrat State Rep. Ana Hernandez officially declared her campaign for the seat, with her fellow Houston Democrat colleague State Rep. Carol Alvarado following shortly. Candidates will have until November 16 to file for the election.

During her time in office, Garcia was consistently one of the most liberal members of the Texas Senate. The heavily Democrat district is expected to remain in Democrat control after the special election.

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