Following the abrupt resignation of disgraced former Congressman Blake Farenthold, Gov. Greg Abbott announced this week that the special election to fill that seat would be held on June 30th, 2018. The candidate filing deadline would be April 27th.
Farenthold initially announced that he would not run for reelection, then abruptly resigned shortly thereafter in April. Farenthold was under intense pressure to resign after a string of sexual harassment allegations came out against him. The pressure greatened once it came out that Farenthold had used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle the claims against him. So far, Farenthold has announced no intentions of paying those taxpayer dollars back.
Abbott has expressed a desire to fill the vacant Congressional seat as quickly as possible, given that it was one of the many districts ravaged, and still recovering from, damage done by Hurricane Harvey.
In order to hold the election for the seat sooner than it was originally scheduled for, Abbott had to suspend certain state laws. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton granted Abbott the authority to do so in a five page opinion, in which he concluded “If you determine the situation in Congressional District 27 constitutes an emergency that warrants holding a special election before November 6, 2018, a court would likely conclude (that section 41.0011) authorizes calling an expedited special election to fill the vacancy in that district.”
There are currently two Republican candidates who are still in the race after advancing through the primary for the 27th Congressional district seat, Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud. Runoffs will occur on May 22nd.