Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday set a Nov. 5 special election to fill the Texas House seat being vacated by state Rep. John Zerwas, who last month announced he would retire from the lower chamber.
Candidates have until Sept. 4 to file for the seat, and early voting begins Oct. 21, Abbott’s office said in a news release.
Zerwas, R-Richmond, was first elected in 2006 and chaired the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee during the last two legislative sessions. He said he would step down Sept. 30 from his seat, which covers parts of Fort Bend County from Simonton to Mission Bend and Katy to Rosenberg.
The election falls on Texas’ next so-called uniform election date, when voters will decide constitutional amendments and some city races. In Houston, elections for mayor, controller and city council will take place Nov. 5.
Soon after announcing his retirement, Zerwas, an anesthesiologist, was appointed as the University of Texas System’s vice chancellor for health affairs.
Last week, former Fulshear city councilwoman Tricia Krenek announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in Zerwas’ district, House District 28. Democrat Eliz Markowitz, a former candidate for the State Board of Education, is also running.
Zerwas won re-election to a seventh term in 2018 by eight percentage points, though Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz narrowly beat Democrat Beto O’Rourke, 51-48, in the district.