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NE Travis County's New Rep Could Never Cast A Vote

Updated: Wednesday, January 29 2014, 12:21 PM CST

Northeast Travis County's brand new state representative could mathematically never cast a legislative vote on her district's behalf.

Democrat Celia Israel handily beat Republican Mike VanDeWalle in a special election in House District 50 Tuesday. The outcome means Israel replaces former Rep. Mark Strama, who stepped down last year to lead Google's rollout of its high-speed Fiber service in Austin. But without a legislative session on the calendar this year, Israel will have to win the general election in November in order to take part in the typical lawmaking duties that come with the job.

That November race will likely feature the third contest between VanDeWalle and Israel. The Republican earned the plurality of votes in the first special election last November, with 39 percent. Israel won 32 percent and split the rest with two other Democrats. The lack of a clear majority led to Tuesday's runoff that Israel won with 59 percent of the vote to VanDeWalle's 41 percent.

Israel's victory came with the support of Battleground Texas, the group organized by former Obama campaign staffers dedicated to making the state competitive for Democratic candidates. She also now has the nominal advantage of incumbency heading into November's election.

NE Travis County's New Rep Could Never Cast A Vote


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