The battle between Sandra Rodriguez and Sergio Muñoz, Jr. to claim HD-36 might not be as close as anticipated if early voting figures hold throughout the night.
The Hidalgo County Elections office has Muñoz leading Rodriguez by more than 2,000 votes after early voting.
With no GOP or third-party candidate on the ballot for November’s General Election, Tuesday’s Primary Election is it. The winner will head to Austin and take over the seat currently held by state Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, D-Palmview. Flores decided not to seek another term in the Legislature after he was indicted last year by a Travis County grand jury on charges that he hid sources of income, gifts, real estate holdings and other information from his financial disclosure forms.
Muñoz Jr. is the son of former state Rep. Sergio Muñoz, and has been forced to fend off allegations from Rodriguez that he is Flores’ handpicked successor. He is a Palmview attorney and a municipal court judge. Rodriguez could be considered the veteran candidate in the race, as she nearly upset Flores for the same seat two years ago, losing by less than 1,000 votes.
Both candidates faired pretty well in fundraising, as Rodriguez was able to raise more than $321,000 and spent about $263,000 from January 2009 to February 2010. Muñoz hauled in more than $106,000 and spent about $416,000.
She is a former probation officer and board member for the Pharr—San Juan—Alamo Independent School District.