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The next special elections

There’s one now scheduled in HD10, to replace new Congressman Jake Ellzey.

Jake Ellzey

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that Aug. 31 will be the date of the special election to replace former state Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Waxahachie, now a member of Congress.

The candidate filing deadline is Aug. 12, and early voting will start Aug. 23.

Ellzey vacated the seat in Texas House District 10 after winning the special election runoff last month for the 6th Congressional District. HD-10 is reliably red and covers largely rural areas south and southeast of Dallas.

John Wray, the Waxahachie Republican who held the seat before not seeking reelection in 2020, has already launched a campaign to win it back and earned the endorsement of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the influential tort reform group. No other credible candidates have emerged yet.

HD10 went 67-31 for Trump in 2020, so barring something almost unfathomable, it will remain Republican. The reason why the special election has been scheduled so quickly is because the Lege is in session, which enables the short horizon for an election.

Next in line after that will be HD118, where incumbent Leo Pacheco is getting set to peace out.

State Rep. Leo Pacheco, D-San Antonio, will be switching out his seat in the Texas House for one in a classroom.

Pacheco, who was first elected in 2018, announced that he will be resigning as a representative to teach public administration at San Antonio College, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

A special election will take place to fill his role serving District 118, which covers the southern and eastern parts of Bexar County.

Pacheco was one of seven Democrats who voted in favor of House Bill 1927, allowing permitless carry, for which the Bexar County Democratic Party censured him in May. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law, and it takes effect Sept. 1. Pacheco also did not join his fellow House Democrats in Washington, D.C., starting in July to prevent the state House from conducting business during this year’s first special session.

We discussed Rep. Pacheco when that happened. Maybe he was already planning his exit, and maybe he decided after that happened that he should be looking at alternate paths, I don’t know. Whatever the case, probably a wise decision. I should note that while HD118 is a reasonably blue district – 55-40 for Hillary Clinton in 2016, 56-42 for Biden in 2020 – it’s one that can be susceptible to low-turnout off-schedule election weirdness, as the 2016 special election showed. Quite a few people who had a pitifully inadequate understanding of such dynamics wrote about how this was a turning point and a dark day and so on and so forth, and then the seat was retaken by Democrat Tomas Uresti nine months later by a 55-45 margin. (Uresti served one term before being ousted by Pacheco in the 2018 primary.) I say all this to say that while Democrats should retain this seat when it comes up for its special, presumably in late September or October, there’s a chance it could get fumbled away, and if that happens we should try not to lose our shit over it.

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3 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    “Pacheco was one of seven Democrats who voted in favor of House Bill 1927, allowing permitless carry, for which the Bexar County Democratic Party censured him in May.”

    Since blacks and other people of color are much less likely to be able to obtain a CHL in the first place, they are the ones most negatively impacted by Texas law prohibiting constitutional carry. So here’s a guy that voted to fix that, so black people can have the same rights as their White counterparts, who can jump through any hoop and provide any documents needed, and can pay any amount for a CHL….and he is censured for that.

    The party that bills itself specifically as the party for non Whites and that particularly elevates the interests of black people censured a guy for doing something to HELP black people have the same rights as Whites.

  2. Joel says:

    concern troll be concern trolling.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Joel,

    Am I wrong?

    To air your decision, here’s a leftist friendly article that explains why blacks and other non Whites are unable to obtain the kind of ID required, and pass the fingerprint and background checks required to get a CHL:

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2012/08/voter-id-laws-why-do-minorities-lack-id-to-show-at-the-polls.html

    “The most common voter ID is a driver’s license, and minorities are less likely to drive. A 2007 study found that in California, New Mexico, and Washington, whites were more likely to have driver’s licenses than nonwhites. In Orange County, Calif., about 92 percent of white voters had driver’s licenses, compared with only 84 percent of Latino voters and 81 percent of “other” voters. A 2005 study of Wisconsin similarly found that while about 80 percent of white residents had licenses, only about half of African-American and Hispanic residents had licenses.

    Minorities are less likely to have driver’s licenses because they are more likely to be poor and to live in urban areas. If you can’t afford a car, or if you don’t need one because you take the bus or subway, you are less likely to have a driver’s license. Students are less likely to have driver’s licenses for the same reasons (plus the fact that they can sometimes rely on student IDs, and may just have not gotten around to getting a driver’s license yet). Moreover, minorities may be more likely to have lost their driver’s licenses: The Wisconsin study found that an estimated 8 percent of Hispanic adults and 17 percent of African-American adults had no current license but had a recent suspension or revocation. Almost half of suspended driver’s licenses were due to failure to pay outstanding fines, which may explain why poor people are less likely to have licenses.

    Driver’s licenses are not the only accepted forms of identification, but minorities may face extra challenges in securing other legally valid IDs. Passports, military IDs, and other government-issued photo ID are generally accepted, and some states accept student ID cards from state universities. Texas accepts concealed-weapons licenses, but New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice points out that African-Americans are also less likely to have these concealed-gun permits.”

    Disparate impact? Systemic racism? Deprivation of rights by keeping blacks unarmed? Any of this ringing a bell, Joel?