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Fort Bend County Special Election Could Prove Bellwether In Fight For Control Of Texas House

Democrats hope to flip House District 28, formerly held by Republican State Rep. John Zerwas.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
View of the Texas Capitol in Austin.


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Voters in two Houston-area districts will get to choose new state lawmakers this fall. One of those contests has not only local, but potentially even national implications.

Six Republicans and one Democrat are running for House District 28, the Fort Bend County seat from which Republican John Zerwas resigned last month. Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said that all but guarantees the Democrat, Eliz Markowitz, will make it as far as a runoff with one of the GOP candidates.

"HD 28 is going to be seen as a bellwether for the potential for the Texas Democratic Party to win a net total of nine seats to flip control of the Texas House, and thereby have a seat at the redistricting table in 2021," Jones said.

Meanwhile, voters in House District 148 in North and Northwest Houston will vote on a replacement for Democrat Jessica Farrar, who also resigned last month. Eleven Democrats, two Republicans and one independent are campaigning for the seat – making a runoff likely in that contest as well.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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