Sequels and reboots are usually reserved for the summer movie season, but Texas elections are slowly creeping in on that territory. Much like moviegoers with the next coming Mission: Impossible installment, voters might be asking: why?
June 30 is the special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by embattled Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi), who fled office earlier this year amid sexual harassment allegations before taking a new taxpayer-funded job with the Port of Port Lavaca. The voting period for this round of voting began yesterday across parts of the county and will continue for a couple more weeks.
This election is not to be confused with the runoff election held just a few weeks ago to settle on the Democratic and Republican candidates for the same seat. That race is for the opportunity to hold the seat beginning in January when a new term begins. This special election is for someone to hold the seat — officially called an unexpired term — from the conclusion of this race until December, when the current term ends.
And much like a sequel, there are characters that you know from previous chapters, as well as new faces to the story.
This special election features 9 candidates. Unlike primary elections, special elections feature a single ballot with all parties listed on the same ticket. So there will be Democrats, Republicans, independents, and even a Libertarian appearing all at once.
Returning are Democrats Eric Holguin and Raul “Roy” Barerra. Holguin won the May 22 runoff and will appear on the November General Election ballot. Familiar Republican cast members are Michael Cloud — who won his party's runoff — and Bech Bruun, who shortly after the runoff election appeared alongside frenemy Cloud and stated his intentions to not challenge the GOP nominee in this special election.
The other five candidates include Republican Marty Perez, a doctor from Corpus Christi; Democrat Mike Westergren, an attorney and former district judge from Corpus Christi; independents Judith Cutright of Corpus Christi and Christopher Suprun, a paramedic from Dallas; and Libertarian Daniel Tinus, a teacher from Bay City.
Early voting is now underway. Polls are open 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. from June 13-15, June 18-22, and June 25 and 26 at the Randle-Rather Building downtown and at the Waelder City Building.
On Election Day June 30, election precincts will be consolidated. They are:
And if no candidate gets the required 50 percent of the vote total, the saga will continue well into the summer, with yet another runoff election for this seemingly never-ending story.