April 21, 2015
by John W. Gonzalez
Attorney Ina Minjarez has captured the Texas House District 124 seat vacated by José Menéndez.
Minjarez, 40, garnered 55 percent of the vote Tuesday to win her first office, following two unsuccessful bids for a county court-at-law bench.
Turnout was 2.7 percent of those registered, with about 2,400 votes cast in the far West Side district.
Minjarez is an attorney and former prosecutor who capitalized on big-name backing from County Judge Nelson Wolff and other leading Bexar County Democrats.
Delicia Herrera, 41, also a Democrat, is a former San Antonio councilwoman who served two terms and went door-to-door to seek votes in a low-budget campaign.
Menéndez, D-San Antonio, gave up the House seat to serve in the Texas Senate seat formerly held by mayoral candidate Leticia Van de Putte.
The race to replace Menéndez drew four candidates in a March 31 special election, where Minjarez was the top vote-getter, with 42 percent.
The runoff came with just 41 days left in the 84th Legislature’s 140-day, biennial session, and it will be several more days before the election results are certified and the victor takes the oath of office in Austin.
She’s be joining a chamber where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-1.
Although a key deadline has passed for filing legislation, plenty of important votes will be cast in the coming weeks.
“There is work left to be done on every major issue and our newest member will have a voice on each of those issues,” House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said Tuesday. “We look forward to welcoming her,” he said.
“I’m so thankful for the support, votes and — most importantly — trust of the good people of House District 124,” Minjarez said in a victory statement.
“I congratulate Delicia and the other candidates on their hard-fought campaigns, and I thank them for their desire to serve,” she said.
“I look forward to getting to our state Capitol and working on the priorities of our district: improving our neighborhood schools, growing local jobs, tackling our infrastructure challenges head-on and protecting the needs of our seniors and veterans,” Minjarez said.
Texas House District 124 runoff
Ina Minjarez: 1,331; 55%
Delicia Herrera: 1,090; 45%
Source: Bexar County Elections Department