Voters will head to the polls Saturday to fill the seat left open when a deceased state senator won re-election.
Mario Gallegos represented state Senate District 6. He died on Oct. 16, but it was too late to remove his name from the November general election ballot. He won re-election over Republican R.W. Bray.
Gallegos said he wanted Carol Alvarado, who has served as a Houston City Council member and a Texas state representative, to fill his seat.
The following people are running for the seat:
- Rodolfo "Rudy" Reyes, Independent
- Dorothy Olmos, Republican
- R.W. Bray, Republican
- Carol Alvarado, Democrat
- Joaquin Martinez, Democrat
- Sylvia R. Garcia, Democrat
- Susan Delgado, Democrat
- Maria Selva, Green Party
Alvarado and Garcia are the most familiar faces in the race.
Alvarado is billing herself as a community advocate, a friend to neighborhood and business leaders and a champion of job growth. She said she will push for more affordable health care and a fully-funded education system.
"I think we need to put a freeze on college tuition," Alvarado said. "People are concerned about, of course, the economy and making sure we lead the nation in job growth."
Garcia is the former controller for the city of Houston and a former Harris County commissioner. She is billing herself as a taxpayers' watchdog. Garcia said she wants to fight for solutions for accessible health care and create new jobs with fair wages.
"I want to go to Austin to continue my fight for working families in Senate District 6, making sure their kids have a good public education, making sure we expand Medicaid and help the most vulnerable populations in our county," Garcia said.
The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.