Republican John Kuempel will succeed his late father in the Texas House. The 40-year-old metal salesman and University of Texas graduate won tonight's special election in House District 44 with 66 percent of the vote, carrying all three counties in the district. Kuempel's father, the late state Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin, died in early November after suffering a heart attack.
Kuempel's victory, combined with today's defection to the Republican party of onetime Democrats Allan Ritter of Nederland and Aaron Peña on Edinburg, means the GOP will have 101 of 150 House members in the 82nd Legislative Session.
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.