UPDATE: Texas House District 28 special election expands to 7 candidates


Editor’s note: This story, which originally published Aug. 5, has been updated several times to include new information about the Nov. 5 special election for Texas House District 28. 

As of Sept. 3, seven candidates are in the race for the Texas House District 28 seat—which covers Fulshear, a portion of Katy and a portion of Sugar Land.

Gov. Greg Abbott called for a special election Nov. 5 to let voters find a new representative after Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, announced July 31 that he would step down from the position. Zerwas’ resignation as a state representative is effective Sept. 30—before his term is over.

In an Aug. 1 press release, the University of Texas System announced Zerwas, a physician, had been appointed the executive vice chancellor for health affairs for the UT System effective Oct. 1.

As of Aug. 29, there are five candidates who have either filed for candidacy with the Texas Secretary of State or announced their campaign via press releases:

  • Anna Allred is a republican and anesthesiologist. Her platform centers around private sector innovation and less government and one of her priorities is health care, according to an Aug. 29 press release.
  • Gary Gates is a republican businessman. His platform’s priorities include protecting taxpayers, securing the border and supporting schools, according to his campaign website.
  • Gary J. Hale is a republican business owner who lives in Katy. Community Impact Newspaper was not able to immediately get in touch with Hale to learn more about his campaign.
  • Tricia Krenek is running as a republican. She and her husband own a law firm, and she is a former Fulshear council member. Her platform priorities include flood mitigation, property taxes and education, according to an Aug. 5 press release.
  • Sarah Laningham is a republican salesperson who resides in Richmond. Her platform priorities include protecting the unborn and churches, ending toll roads, returning budget surpluses to taxpayers, expanding gun rights, securing the border, and providing property tax reform.
  • Eliz Markowitz is a democrat and employed as a teacher, corporate trainer, content developer and author. Her campaign focuses on education, health care and flood management.
  • Clinton D. Purnell is a republican with a background in logistics. Community Impact Newspaper was not able to immediately get in touch with Purnell to learn more about his campaign.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. Sept. 4 to apply to place their name on the ballot.

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  1. This article seems a bit biased in favor of the Democrat candidate. First, Patricia Krenek’s name is misspelled. Second, compare the two descriptions:

    Markowitz: Armed with a doctorate in education, two master’s degrees and a bachelor’s degree, Markowitz has a campaign platform focused on education, health care and flood management.

    Krenek: Krenek’s priorities include flood mitigation, property taxes, education, a free market system and pro-family values.

    In Krenek’s description, there is no mention of the fact that she has been a licensed attorney for 30 years and runs Krenek Law Offices, PLLC.

    I have no affiliation with either candidate, but since your article did not include any information on Krenek, I did a quick Google search.

  2. Wow…way to bow to a single anonymous comment on removing the fact that the lone Democrat running has two master’s degrees and a doctorate. Shameful

  3. Community Impact Staff

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your feedback! Our editorial team takes providing objective, fact-based reporting on elections very seriously. We wanted to give some additional context based on the comments we have received. Our staff recognizes that strong opinions exist on this subject and want to be transparent about our process.

    When this story was first published, it only announced details about Tricia Krenek before the special election had even been set. At the time, she was the only candidate who had provided a press release regarding her campaign to Community Impact Newspaper.

    When a second candidate, Eliz Markowitz, announced her candidacy, we updated the story again. News style dictates that new information goes at the top of a story rather than the bottom. So in this instance, details about Markowitz went ahead of details about Krenek, who had already had an entire story dedicated to her campaign.

    Later, additional details about the special election and Zerwas’ new position were announced, and so the story was updated again.

    The story was then updated additional times to show the full list of candidates who have filed for candidacy. With seven candidates, we cannot fit biographical and other background information about each candidate. However, a Q&A with each candidate will be published online this week. Each candidate was given the same set of questions, and the article will include the candidate’s top priorities and other background information.

    If you have additional questions about our news writing process, please let us know. You can comment below or send an email to ktyfeedback@commmunityimpact.com.

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Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education since 2013. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.
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