Early voting starts today in special runoff elections to fill three vacant Texas House seats.

On the ballot:

House District 28
Fort Bend County
Gary Gates and Elizabeth Markowitz led the seven-way special election last November to replace seven-term State Rep. John Zerwas (R–Richmond). Markowitz, the lone Democrat candidate, received 39 percent of the vote; Republican Gates got 28 percent. Zerwas, a physician, resigned after the end of the 2019 legislative session to take a job as the University of Texas System’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.

The race has attracted attention from national Democrats, who see the fate of the suburban district as a potential bellwether of Democrats’ chances in Texas this November.

House District 100
Dallas County
Democrats Lorraine Birabil and James Armstrong III advanced to the runoff to replace five-term State Rep. Eric Johnson (D–Dallas), who was elected mayor of Dallas last June. Birabil drew 32 percent of the vote and Armstrong 21 percent in last year’s five-candidate contest.

House District 148
Harris County
Democrat Anna Eastman and Republican Luis La Rotta topped the list of 15 candidates vying last November to replace longtime State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D–Houston)—Eastman with 20 percent and La Rotta with 16 percent. Farrar spent more than 25 years in the Texas House before announcing her retirement last year.

Runoff winners will fill the former lawmakers’ unexpired terms, which end in January 2021.

Early voting in the special election runoffs is Tuesday through Friday, January 21-24. Election Day is Tuesday, January 28.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.