6 candidates file to appear on state Senate District 14 ballot

Early voting for the July 14 special election for state Senate District 14 will begin June 29. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early voting for the July 14 special election for state Senate District 14 will begin June 29. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Early voting for the July 14 special election for state Senate District 14 will begin June 29. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

May 13 was the deadline for candidates to file for the July 14 special election for state Senate District 14.

The six candidates who will appear on the ballot in the race include two Democrats, two Republicans, a Libertarian and an independent candidate.

The Democrats, both of whom held elected office up to the election, have long made their intentions known. Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, who has served in the state House since 2002, announced March 7 he was seeking election for the position with the support of the Travis County delegation in the House, among others.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt announced March 10 she would step down from her position in to run for the seat, a resignation that was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eckhardt officially passed the baton to Sam Biscoe on May 12. Biscoe, who served as judge from 1998-2014, has taken over the role again on an interim basis.

The Republicans on the ballot are Don Zimmerman, a former Austin City Council member from 2014-16, and attorney Waller Thomas Burns. Zimmerman ran for election in House District 47 in March and came one vote short of appearing in the runoff election.

Lago Vista resident Pat Dixon, the former chair of the Libertarian Party of Texas, is also a candidate in the race along with Austin physician Jeff Ridgeway, who is running as an independent.

Sen. Kirk Watson left the seat, which covers all of Bastrop County and most of Travis County, on April 30 to take a position as the dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston. Watson last won election in 2018, so the winning candidate in the special election will fill the rest of his term through 2022. Watson, a former Austin mayor, served in the District 14 seat for 14 years from 2006-20.

On May 12, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir announced that the early voting period for the July 14 SD 14 special election and the primary runoff election held the same day will be extended.

Voters will be able to cast their ballot early from June 29 to July 10. The polls will be closed July 3-4 in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. Otherwise, they will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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