When State Representative Edmund Kuempel (R) died before the election, there was no time to change his name on the ballot. Now, with a special election upcoming, a flood of candidates for the seat has emerged.
The Seguin Gazette reports that when Monday’s deadline came and went to file for the Dist. 44 State Representative Special Election, a total of 10 candidates had officially filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. That seat came open following the death of longtime State Representative Edmund Kuempel, and Gov. Rick Perry called for a special election to fill that seat. So who’s running? We’ve already told you about Kuempel’s son, Republican John Kuempel, plus Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD school board member Gary Inmon, Kuempel’s primary challenger Robin Walker and Democrat Cheryl Dees Patterson. But six other candidates got their application in before the deadline, including Republicans Ron Avery, Chris Burchell, Jim Fish, and Myrna McLeroy, along with Democrat Daniel Rodriguez Andrade, and Libertarian Tony Gergely.
The reason I bother to report this is the special nature of the race. The short time-frame of the election (early voting begins November 29th and election day is December 14th) means there is no time for a primary. Instead, we see a race with 2 Democrats, 7 Republicans, and 1 Libertarian. The race then moves to a runoff when no candidate reaches 50%.
A Libertarian running a real campaign in this situation has a real shot at reaching the runoff. Kuempel’s son and a local school board member are running as Republicans, but most of the names are not those with a political background. If no clear frontrunners emerge, a Libertarian could claim the divided vote to the runoff. However, Texas Libertarians are sometimes infamous for running placeholder candidates.
EDIT: It just came to my attention that Ron Avery, a Seguin architect, was actually a Constitution Party candidate in a special election in a US House race. It appears he finished fairly strongly in that bid. H/T to Joey Dauben in comments at the Texas Tribune.