Gov. Abbott postpones special election for Kirk Watson’s seat

State News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Abbott issued a proclamation Monday postponing the special election for State Senate District 14 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The election is set for July 14, instead of May 2. Voters will decide who will fill the seat Sen. Kirk Watson will vacate when he leaves office to become the first dean of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs in April.

Earlier Monday, the Texas Democratic Party had called for May mail-in ballot elections.

“The Governor’s office is continuing to consult with the Secretary of State’s office on additional strategies to ensure public health in relation to any upcoming election,” the press release said.

KXAN previously reported a number of people have shown interest in filling Watson’s position, including Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and Rep. Eddie Rodriguez. Austin City Council member Greg Casar has also expressed interest. State Senate District 14 encompasses much of Travis County and portions of Bastrop County.

The release explained, “the Governor has the express authority to suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules of a state agency if strict compliance with the provisions, orders, or rules would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in regards to a disaster declaration.”

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