The election for SD-6 will take place almost three weeks after lawmakers convene in Austin on Jan. 8 for the beginning of the 83rd Texas Legislature and will likely add a new Democrat to the 31-member body.
Candidates have until Dec. 27 to file paperwork with the secretary of state’s office.
The election will likely come down to a choice between two veteran Democrats: Sylvia Garcia, a former Harris County commissioner, and state Rep. Carol Alvarado, who also served six years on the Houston City Council.
Garcia’s campaign recently announced it had garnered the support of several members of the Harris County legislative delegation, including Democratic state Reps. Jessica Farrar, Ana Hernandez-Luna, Armando Walle and Garnet Coleman. Alvarado’s campaign boasts support from former Houston Mayors Bill White and Lee Brown, and state Sens. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. Houston state Reps. Harold Dutton, Borris L. Miles and Senfronia Thompson, all Democrats, are also supporting Alvarado, as is the family of the late senator.
Gallegos became the first Hispanic senator to represent Harris County in 1995 after serving two terms in the Texas House. He died Oct. 16 following complications associated with a liver transplant he underwent in 2007.
Republican candidate R.W. Bray, who lost his challenge to Gallegos in the general election, is also running in the special election.