HD 125 runoff up against spring break on calendar
Spring Break will be in high gear in a couple of weeks, just as voters are summoned back to the polls for a runoff election to determine who will represent District 125 in the Texas House of Representatives. Spring Break notwithstanding, voting needs to take a priority on their to-do list.
Gov. Greg Abbott has scheduled the runoff in the House race for March 12. Early voting runs starts Monday and runs through March 8.
The Texas 86th Legislature will be about half over by the time someone is finally sworn in, but that should not be used as an excuse to sit out this very important election. The term of office for a state representative is two years. The victor in this race will serve an unexpired term that ends in December 2020, before the Legislature meets again, but that does not mean the candidate elected to this post will just be a place holder.
Much work gets done after the Legislature adjourns. Often, issues tackled between legislative sessions set the agenda for the following biennial meeting.
Voter apathy is always a big issue in all elections, but it is more so in special elections, especially runoffs. The voter turnout for this race, held Feb. 12 with five candidates, was a pitiful 6 percent. It is likely the runoff between the two top vote-getters — Republican businessman Fred Rangel and Democrat Ray Lopez, a former San Antonio city councilman — will attract even fewer voters.
We urge the 101,146 registered voters in this district to go to the polls. Only 6,140 of them cast ballots in February.
Rangel, the top vote-getter, garnered only 2,323 votes. The vote difference between the second- and third-place candidates was only 22 votes. This runoff is the kind of race in which the final outcome could be determined by a single vote.
The 125th District House seat was left vacant by Justin Rodriguez in December when he was appointed as Bexar County Precinct 2 commissioner following the death of Paul Elizondo, who had held the post for decades.
The governor has been moving the process along at an expedited pace because the Legislature, which only meets every two years, is in session. Even so, Bexar County’s newest freshman state representative will only have a few weeks on the job before the regular session is over.
The timing on this election may be awkward and inconvenient for some Texas House District 125 voters and election fatigue may be setting in, but it important to cast a ballot in this one.