January 9, 2015
By Patrick Svitek

AUSTIN — Outgoing Gov. Rick Perry is leaving it up to his successor to schedule the runoffs resulting from Tuesday’s trio of special elections, none of which ended with a clear winner.

The move could leave Gov.-elect Greg Abbott with just a few days to announce the dates of the second-round match-ups. A governor’s spokesman said Wednesday the vote has to be canvassed before Perry leaves office Jan. 20. Texas election code requires a governor to call a runoff no more than five days after the vote is canvassed.

Theoretically, that means the runoffs are sure to be scheduled by Jan. 25, five days after the latest date Perry could choose to canvass the vote. Lucy Nashed, the Perry spokeswoman, said the canvass has not yet been scheduled. Abbott’s team already is working with the secretary of state’s office to figure out when to pencil in the runoffs.

Six candidates in Central Texas are waiting for the governor’s word on the runoffs, mindful that the timeline could influence their second-round strategies.

In Senate District 26, two Democrats — Trey Martinez Fischer and Jose Menendez — are facing off for the seat being vacated by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. In House District 17, Republicans John Cyrier and Brent Golemon will vie to replace Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, R-Lexington. And in House District 123, Democrat Diego Bernal is up against Republican Nunzio Previtera for the seat formerly held by Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio.

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