Garcia, Alvarado will go to runoff in State Senate District 6 race to replace late Mario Gallegos

With 100 percent of precincts reportin Saturday night, State Representative Carol Alvarado (right) had 41.61 percent of the votes to Harris County Commissioner and City Controller Sylvia Garcia's 45.36 percent.

January 26, 2013 7:54:57 PM PST
Former Harris County Commissioner and City Controller Sylvia Garcia will face off against fellow Democrat State Representative Carol Alvarado for the State Senate District 6 seat left vacant by the late State Senator Mario Gallegos.

Voters in District 6 cast their votes for who would replace the late State Senator Mario Gallegos, but the numbers were too close to call Saturday night.

According to unofficial results in Saturday's voting, Alvarado had 41.62 percent of the votes to Garcia's 45.37 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Neither captured a majority in an eight-candidate field.

Third in line was Republican R.W. Bray, who Gallegos defeated in November, with 6.2 percent of the total.

Gallegos died in October from complications of liver disease, but he was posthumously elected during the November general election.

"Even though he had passed away, I still voted for him," voter Esteban Vasquez said. "I did more research after the fact and found out what I needed to know."

We ran into Garcia while she was campaigning Saturday.

'We've knocked probably 100,000 doors. We've participated in events all over the district. We've been going door-to-door. We've been calling people," Garcia said. "So we've done everything we know how to do to get voters out to the polls."

Alvarado wears a pin with Gallegos' picture on it. The Gallegos family endorsed her in this race.

"Running for this position is something that he asked me to do when he knew he was no longer going to be able to continue to serve," Alvarado said. "I think he recognized that we both share the same passion for public service."

There are 284,000 registered voters in District 6, which stretches from South Houston to the north side. About 8,200 people voted early and fewer than 8,000 people voted Saturday.

It now will be up to Gov. Rick Perry to set a date for the runoff, which will likely be held in late February or early March.

Stay with Eyewitness News and for the latest on the race.

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