Updated Sept. 26 at 3:13 p.m. to include news from the Travis County Democratic Party.
The Travis County Democratic Party has called for a special election if state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, wins in November. Dukes is retiring Jan. 10.
Vincent Harding, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, thanked Dukes for her service in a statement and encouraged voters to “vote the straight Democratic ticket” in November.
“It is of the upmost importance that the voters of House District 46 have their voices heard in the upcoming legislative session and it is my goal and responsibility to ensure a Democrat maintains control of this seat,” he said.
Original story: After 22 years in office, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, announced Monday she was stepping down Jan. 10.
Dukes represents Texas House District 46, which covers parts of Travis County cities including Pflugerville, Austin and Manor.
She said in a statement she was resigning because of health reasons and to care for her daughter. Dukes was injured following a car accident in August 2013 and had surgery in July 2015, according to a news release.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make,” she said in the statement announcing her resignation. “However, in light of my ongoing health issues and concerns, I find that I can no longer provide the active, effective leadership that is needed to continue my sworn duties. I must take the time to focus all of my energy to heal and continue to provide for my young daughter and extended family.”
Dukes’ name will remain on the Nov. 8 ballot, and a special election will likely be called following her resignation in January, she said.
Gabriel Nila, the Republican nominee for the District 46 seat in the upcoming election, called for Dukes to retire immediately.
“If Representative Dukes intends to resign in January due to health reasons, there is no good reason for her to resign 100 days from now, after a general election, and needlessly disadvantage her successor and cause an expensive special election,” he said in an statement.
Former Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole said in a statement she was “seriously considering” running for Dukes’ seat.
Cole was the first African-American woman elected at-large to Austin City Council and served as mayor pro tem from January 2011-January 2015.
Community Impact Newspaper has reached out to Kevin Ludlow, the Libertarian candidate running for the District 46 seat Nov. 8, and we will update this story accordingly.