Governor Perry Calls for Two Special Elections

Governor Rick Perry has called two elections for next month to settle some unfinished business from this month's elections. One election is controversial, the other is not, as Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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The one that's not controversial is the special election called for December 19th in Brazoria County to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Representative Glenda Dawson of Pearland.

Dawson died in September, too late to take her name off the ballot. Even so, she got 60 percent of the votes to defeat Democrat Anthony Dinovo. Republicans Mike O'Day and Randy Weber say they will run for the vacant seat.

The controversial election is the runoff called for December 12th, in the 23rd Congressional District of South Texas, between Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla and Democrat Ciro Rodriguez.

The League of United Latin American Citizens objects to holding the runoff on that day, because December 12th is also the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe -- the patron saint of Mexico.

Many Catholic Latino communities celebrate this day with processions, masses and family gatherings, and LULAC says holding an election on the same day is just a Republican attempt to suppress Hispanic votes.

A Perry spokeswoman says he's complying with court orders to hold the runoff on the earliest possible date, and that's December 12th.

Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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