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Dispute over State Senator Sylvia Garcia’s Intent to Resign Continues

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says the Texas Secretary of State and the county’s legal department agree he doesn’t have the authority to call elections

This file photo shows Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia speaking at the 2018 Texas Democratic Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. The dispute over her intent to resign continues.

The dispute over State Senator Sylvia Garcia’s intent to resign continues.

Weeks ago, Garcia, who is a Democrat, sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott announcing her intent to resign effective January 2. She wanted Abbott to call a special election to fill her Senate seat and have it coincide with the regular November election.

Abbott’s office said her letter didn’t meet the legal standards of an official resignation. His office asked Garcia to submit a new letter and remove the word “intent.”

However, instead of writing a new letter, Garcia’s camp asked Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart to call the special election, and threatened to sue him if he didn’t do it.

Stanart, who is a Republican, responded Tuesday through a statement. He said that, after consulting with the Texas Secretary of State and Harris County’s legal department, everyone is in agreement that he doesn’t have the authority to call elections.

Stanart alleged Garcia is intentionally wording her resignation letter so it won’t go into effect until January 2, when she’d qualify for a bigger state pension. Garcia’s attorney has previously stated that her pension has nothing to do with it.

Responding to an inquiry from News 88.7, Garcia said in a statement that “the Governor won’t do his job, and apparently, neither will members of his Party with the responsibility to enforce the State Constitution.”

“I have no intention of stooping to their game of personal attacks,” said the Senator, while adding that she will “continue fighting to make sure the 850,000 Texans of SD 6 have a Senator on the floor Day 1 of the legislative session.”

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

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Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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