Sarah Eckhardt wins state Senate District 14 race after Eddie Rodriguez concedes

Sarah Eckhardt has won the Senate District 14 special election and will serve in the Texas Senate during the 87th Legislative Session in 2021. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sarah Eckhardt has won the Senate District 14 special election and will serve in the Texas Senate during the 87th Legislative Session in 2021. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)

Sarah Eckhardt has won the Senate District 14 special election and will serve in the Texas Senate during the 87th Legislative Session in 2021. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)

Sarah Eckhardt will be the next state Senator representing District 14 at the Texas Capitol.

In the July 14 special election to choose the successor to former state Sen. Kirk Watson, Eckhardt received more than 60,000 votes and finished just a few hundred votes short of winning the vote outright without the need for a runoff.

The former Travis County judge was set to advance to a runoff election against fellow Democrat and state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, but Rodriguez announced his concession July 27.

In a statement, Rodriguez's campaign said the District 51 representative, who represents a swath of Southeast Austin and Travis County, will focus his efforts on helping to win a Democratic majority in the Texas House of Representatives.

"I will be working hard for District 51 and the entire state, pushing a policy agenda that includes strong public schools, increased access to health care, gun violence prevention, meaningful criminal justice reform and policies that respect the dignity of every Texan."

Watson, who was initially elected to the state senate in 2006, resigned April 30 to take over as founding dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs. Eckhardt will serve out the remainder of the term through 2022 and will represent District 14 constituents at the 87th Legislative Session next year.


Rodriguez will be on the November ballot to retain his District 51 seat in the Texas House and will face Republican candidate Robert Reynolds. Rodriguez is the longest-tenured House member from Travis County; he has served since 2002 and is now seeking his ninth term at the Capitol.
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


MOST RECENT

Austin transportation officials said April 15 the range of corridor construction program projects initiated through the city's 2016 Mobility Bond remain on track for completion by late 2024. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Several Austin corridor mobility projects moving forward in 2021, program on track for 2024 completion

Transportation officials said some corridor program improvements previously planned along Guadalupe Street and East Riverside Drive are being reduced ahead of Project Connect expansions.

Jack Allen's Kitchen will be at 1345 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. (Rendering courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
7 restaurants coming to Cedar Park, Leander; new murals to go up in Georgetown and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the Central Texas area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Photo of a home for sale
Central Austin housing market remains steep as area median home price reaches all-time high

Home prices in the Austin-Round Rock area have climbed more than 28% in the past year.

Residents ride bikes on Shoal Creek Boulevard in this photo from February 2020. Austin Water is taking on a project to replace water and wastewater lines in the Allandale neighborhood. (jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Water line construction project begins in Allandale neighborhood

Once the improvements are made, customers can expect water and wastewater outages typically lasting a few hours as their service is connected to the new lines.

Austin FC supporters celebrate the official announcement of the team in January 2019. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
How, where to watch historic first Austin FC match April 17

Check out this list of breweries, pubs and restaurants around Central Texas that are hosting watch parties for April 17's inaugural Austin FC game.

Z'Tejas' chorizo dumplings are served on the Arboretum location's porch. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Z'Tejas to open in Avery Ranch; butcher, deli to open in Dripping Springs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Maj. Vito Errico, left, and Maj. Jason Zuniga are co-directors of Army Futures Command's Software Factory, for which the first cohort of soldiers started in January. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
From a rifle to a keyboard: Army Futures Command opens Software Factory at downtown ACC campus

Twenty-five soldiers started in January as part of the Software Factory's first cohort. Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be at the Rio Grande campus for a ribbon-cutting April 15.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes leaders and Community First Village residents unveiled the planned third and fourth phases of the Austin development for the formerly homeless April 14. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's Community First Village for the formerly homeless announces 127-acre, 1,400-home expansion

Officials with the community, which is intended for residents who have experienced chronic homelessness, said that two new expansion phases are expected to begin development in 2022.

Photo of a sign that says "Travis County"
Travis County establishes new emergency rental assistance program for 2021

The program will provide $10.7 million in aid to county residents struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic.

Plank Seafood Provisions opened inside The Domain in late March. (Courtesy Richard Casteel)
Seafood spot opens in The Domain; All Star Liquor now serving Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.