Last week’s deadly snowstorms that precipitated power cuts to millions of Texans also kept North Texas voters from going to the polls to cast early ballots in Tuesday’s special election for a vacant Texas House seat.
Just over 100,000 Texans are registered to vote in the vast district, which covers 22 rural North Texas counties: Childress, Collingsworth, Cooke, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Fisher, Floyd, Garza, Hall, Hardeman, Haskell, Jack, Kent, King, Montague, Motley, Stonewall, Throckmorton, Wheeler, Wilbarger, and Young.
In Cooke County, home to a quarter of all HD 68 voters, only 219 early runoff votes were cast—less than 1 percent of registered voters.
The county’s early voting location was closed for one day due to the storms.
The empty House seat was left by Drew Springer (R–Muenster). Running for two legislative seats at the same time, Springer won a fifth term representing HD 68 in November but declined the seat in December after winning a special runoff for Senate District 30.
In January, Spiller and Carter finished first and second in a five-way “expedited” special election to fill the vacancy. Turnout was 9 percent.
Spiller is a Jacksboro lawyer who has served more than 30 years as the city attorney and more than 20 years on the local school board.
Carter is a Nocona businessman, rancher, and philanthropist who also ran in the recent special election for the state Senate. Carter’s daughter and mother-in-law were killed in a car crash last month; his young son remains hospitalized.
All registered voters in the district are eligible to vote in the special runoff election.
Election Day is Tuesday, February 23. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.