March 2 set as date for District 6 runoff election

February 8, 2013 4:38:56 PM PST
It's the final face off for State Senate District 6. Two candidates are vying to replace the Late Senator Mario Gallegos.

The two women who are left in the race are headed to a runoff March 2. They got the highest number of votes in January's special election. Both believe they are the best person to replace Gallegos, who died last year.

For the third time in five months, voters in senate district six are set to go to the polls. This time, it's for a runoff in a special election between two women who know the area well.

We met with Carol Alvarado Friday morning at the groundbreaking for the University of Houston's new football stadium. She was there as a state representative and a runoff candidate for Gallegos.

"I think there is a great opportunity, already being in the legislature, to be able to step in Day One and to hit the ground running to work on important issues, to restore cuts that were made last session," Alvarado said.

After Gallegos was posthumously reelected in November, his family endorsed Alvarado, saying she was the one he would want to fill his shoes.

"Should it matter to voters that the late senator wanted you to take his place?" we asked Alvarado.

"I hope it would," she said. "I think he felt that I was somebody who would continue that fight and that passion."

But in the January special election among seven candidates, it was former city controller and county commissioner Sylvia Garcia who took the most votes and who seems to have the most momentum heading into this runoff.

"Our supporters are excited, we're excited, my family is excited, and so we've been working since the day after," Garcia said.

Garcia says she is the more experienced legislator, the one who will get things done in a district that knows her well.

"We're leaving no stone unturned. We'll continue to knock on doors. If we knocked on your door two times this time, I'm sorry, we're probably gonna knock four," she said.

Voter turnout for the special election was low, and the runoff may be even lower. That makes getting every last supporter to the polls more critical than it might otherwise be.

"We've been working hard and we'll continue to do that," Garcia said.

"I hope that people are aware there's a runoff. A lot of people just missed the election because they simply forgot," Alvarado said.

Gov. Rick Perry set the runoff date as March 2. The last day to file bills in the legislature is March 3, so whoever wins won't be sponsoring any legislation in the senate until the 2015 session.

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