The day after Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced he is running for mayor of Houston, Republican state Rep. Allen Fletcher of Cypress said he would abandon his House seat for a bid to replace Garcia.
“I will not be filing for re-election. I will be filing to run for sheriff of Harris County,” Fletcher told The Texas Tribune on Thursday.
Fletcher, who served as a Houston police officer for 21 years, had been rumored as a potential candidate for the job.
State law requires Garcia, a Democrat, to step down from the sheriff’s office so the county can appoint a replacement to finish out the remainder of the sheriff’s term, which runs through 2016. Garcia is joining a race that includes state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, who has already announced that he is leaving the Legislature to run for mayor.
Fletcher, who was first elected to the House in 2008, said he is making the necessary calls to be considered for the appointment, which will be decided by the Harris County Commissioners Court. He said he hoped to obtain that appointment and enter the 2016 sheriff’s race as an incumbent.
The Houston mayoral race, which will be decided in November, is the second local race this year to trigger a game of musical chairs in the Legislature. An opening in the San Antonio mayor’s office saw the departure of former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and former state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, beginning a string of elections to replace the two lawmakers and leaving the House’s 150-person membership incomplete until last week. San Antonio voters will cast ballots Saturday in that city’s mayoral race.