Mark your calendars, San Antonio, elections aren't quite over yet.
Gov. Rick Perry has scheduled special elections to fill legislative seats vacated by Mike Villarreal and Leticia Van de Putte for Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. A special election to replace outgoing State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt from Bastrop will also take place that day.
Villarreal and Van de Putte, two San Antonio Democrats who have a history of just-under-the-surface tension, resigned from their posts to run for mayor of the Alamo City. Villarreal turned in his resignation letter two days after the Nov. 4 election, though he announced the plan over the summer. Van de Putte jumped into the race after losing to her Republican opponent Dan Patrick in the race for Texas lieutenant governor. Because they've both represented San Antonio for so long and have had a lot of the same donors and supporters over the years, the next five months leading up to our local elections will be interesting, to say the least.
Their decisions to focus local have prompted quite the shakeup in San Antonio politics both on the state and city levels. District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal resigned from City Council to run for Villarreal's position and faces local marketing consultant Melissa Aguillon and former councilman and former state representative Walter Martinez in the race.
At least two San Antonio Democrats want Van de Putte's position in the Texas Senate: the bullish, outspoken Trey Martinez Fischer and the more even-keeled Jose Menendez, both of whom have been repping San Antonio in the House for a number of years. Mark P. Jones, chair of the political science department at Rice University, detailed their political differences in a column for TribTalk and examined what the race could mean for the future of the Texas Democratic Party.
Candidates in these races must file applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. Early voting begins Monday, Dec. 29, 2014.