Gov. Greg Abbott Announces July 31 Special Election for State Sen. Carlos Uresti’s Seat

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Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

State Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) speaks at a press conference outside the federal courthouse in San Antonio after being found guilty of multiple felonies on Feb. 22, 2018.

Gov. Greg Abbott has scheduled a July 31 special election to replace State Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio).

Uresti announced his resignation Monday, four months after he was found guilty of 11 felonies. The resignation is effective Thursday.

The filing deadline for the special election is Monday, and early voting will start July 16, according to Abbott's proclamation. The document also outlines Abbott's reasoning for calling what is known as an emergency special election, noting Uresti's District 19 has been "without effective representation" for over a year due to his legal troubles and it is important to fill the seat as soon as possible.

Abbott had the choice of setting the special election for the next uniform election date – Nov. 6 – or at an earlier date. Uresti had asked Abbott to slate the special election at the same time as the Nov. 6 elections, saying it would "save the 17 counties and taxpayers thousands of dollars."

At least two Democrats are already running to finish Uresti's term, which ends in 2021: former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine and State Rep. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio. Pete Flores, a Republican who unsuccessfully challenged Uresti in 2016, has also announced a special election run.

Uresti was indicted last year on charges including fraud and money laundering stemming from his involvement with FourWinds Logistics, a now-defunct oilfield services company found to have perpetrated a Ponzi scheme against investors. Uresti worked as general counsel for the company, owned a 1 percent stake, and earned a commission for recruiting investors, according to court documents. He was found guilty on all counts in San Antonio federal court on Feb. 22.

 

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