State Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, the soon-to-be Chancellor of the Texas State University System, resigned his seat at the end of last week. That means the voters of House District 66, currently in the midst of a runoff to choose his successor, have even more excitement coming their way — a special election.
This afternoon, Gov. Rick Perry announced the date on which voters will decide who serves out McCall's term: May 8. That's less than one month after the April 13 GOP runoff between former Plano City Councilwoman Mabrie Jackson and businessman Van Taylor. No Democrat filed to run for the seat.
Taylor sent out a press release calling for an understanding that the April 13 winner will be allowed to slide effortlessly into position. "For the good of Plano I believe the winner of the April 13th Republican runoff should run unopposed within the Republican Party so that our nominee can begin working with other state leaders in preparation for the legislative session," Taylor said. "Plano voters are experiencing election fatigue, making it even more important that we unite as a party after next Tuesday so the nominee can get to work for Plano rather than continuing to campaign for what would be a seven month term.”
Jackson has yet to comment.
Even if they both agree to Taylor's proposal, both candidates will have to file for the special election. As noted in Perry's press release: "Candidates for this special election must file applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 7, 2010." So, there's no waiting to see who wins. It will be up to the defeated candidate in the runoff to opt out of the special — either by not campaigning or by actively encouraging people to vote for the opponent — and that chance at a short (but possibly sweet) seven-month term.