When State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) announced his retirement from the legislature to become the dean of the University of Houston’s public affairs school, a bevy of candidates threw their hats into the ring to succeed him.
In last night’s special election, two candidates advanced to the runoff to replace Watson: former Travis County Judge, Sarah Eckhardt and State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin).
Eckhardt resigned from her position to run for the Senate seat. She received 49.7 percent of the vote in the six-person field. She amassed 51 percent of the vote in Travis County but only 31 percent in Bastrop.
In second place was State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) with 34 percent.
And in third was Republican, and former Austin City Councilman, Don Zimmerman with a distant 13 percent of the vote. Zimmerman had run for House District 47 in the primary but lost out on the runoff by one vote.
But Zimmerman played spoiler in the race, preventing Eckhardt from taking the seat outright by winning Bastrop County over both Eckhardt and Rodriguez.
Whoever wins the runoff between Eckhardt and Rodriguez will finish out the remainder of Watson’s term through 2022 in the comfortably Democratic Senate seat.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.
Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.