Feb. 17 Runoff Set in Race for Kolkhorst's House Seat

UPDATED: Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that a runoff will take place Feb. 17 in the special election for the House seat vacated by Lois Kolkhorst.

Updated, Tuesday, 5:59 p.m.:

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that a runoff will take place Feb. 17 in the special election for the House seat vacated by Lois KolkhorstFormer Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski and Caldwell attorney Leighton Schubert will face off in the runoff election. Early voting is from Feb. 9-13.

Original story, Jan. 13:

On the Legislature's first day, voters in House District 13 were back at the polls trying to fill an empty seat in the Texas House, but with no candidate clearing 50 percent, the race is now headed for a runoff. 

Voting ended Tuesday in a race among four candidates hoping to claim the seat vacated by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, who stepped down from her House post when she won the former Senate seat of Comptroller Glenn Hegar.  

With all votes counted, former Austin County Judge and Republican Carolyn Bilski, 61, led the pack with about 43 percent of the vote, according to unofficial numbers from the Secretary of State's website. While campaigning, Bilski highlighted her 20 years as a county judge and experience as a City Council member, calling herself the experienced candidate. 

In second was Caldwell attorney Leighton Schubert, 32, with 33 percent of the vote, who will now face Bilski in the runoff.

Trailing in third place was the sole Democrat in the election — retiree Cecil Webster, 60, with 13 percent of the vote. In last place was geologist and Republican Becky Berger, 58, with about 11 percent of the vote.