Democrat Christina Morales has handily won the special election runoff to fill the former Texas House seat of state Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston.
With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Morales had 61 percent of the vote to 39 percent for fellow Democrat Melissa Noriega, according to unofficial returns. Morales is the president of her family's funeral home in Houston's East End, and Noriega is a former Houston City Council member who temporarily held the House seat over a decade ago.
Alvarado gave up the seat in House District 145 when she won a promotion to the upper chamber in December.
Morales and Noriega were the top two finishers in the initial eight-way contest for HD-145 on Jan. 29. Morales got 36 percent of that vote, and Noriega received 31 percent in the initial contest.
Morales had the support of U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, whom Alvarado replaced in the Texas Senate. Morales was also aided by the same campaign team that helped elect Alvarado in December.
There is still one more vacant seat in the Legislature — that of former Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, now a Bexar County commissioner. That vacancy will be filled by a March 12 special election runoff between Democrat Ray Lopez and Republican Fred Rangel. Early voting in that race started Monday.