Special Election Runoff Results
FINAL UPDATE: All the votes have been counted. José Menéndez will represent District 26 in the Texas Senate, replacing Leticia Van de Putte, who's stepping down to run for San Antonio Mayor. A special election will now have to be called to fill the House District 124 seat left vacant by Menéndez.
Diego Bernal will represent District 123 in the Texas House, replacing Mike Villarreal, who is also stepping down to run for San Antonio Mayor.
UPDATE 9:12 PM: Diego Bernal wins the Texas House 123 seat, defeating Nunzio Previtera with 64% of the vote. He replaces Mike Villarreal, who is stepping down to run for Mayor of San Antonio.
In the legislature, Bernal said he plans to vote against bills that would allow business owners to discriminate based on their religion, and support bills that allow more local control of cities.
"If a city wants to pass a fracking ban, or plastic bag ban, or an NDO [nondiscrimination ordinance], or anything else of that nature, they should be allowed to do that."
He added that he would like to introduce protection against payday lenders.
When Bernal would begin in the legislature is unsure, but he said, "For the sake of the district, the sooner the better."
UPDATE 8:59 PM: José Mendénez is the next State Senator for District 26.
UPDATE 8:49 PM: Trey Martinez Fischer concedes.
UPDATE 8:48 PM: With 93% of the votes counted, the numbers remain the same.
UPDATE 8:45 PM: This José Menéndez supporter likes the latest vote tally.
UPDATE 8:40 PM: With 80% of the precincts counted, José Menendez leads Trey Martinez Fischer, with 59% of the vote in the race for Senate District 26. Diego Bernal still holds onto 63% of the vote against Nunzio Previtera for the House District 123 seat.
UPDATE 8:21 PM: Now with 52% of the votes counted, José Menéndez and Diego Bernal continue to hold the same leads over their opponents.
UPDATE 8:08 PM: With 25% of the ballots counted, the percentages remain the same as the early returns.
UPDATE 7:59 PM: Republican Nunzio Previtera, center, poses with supporters during his election night watch party at the Republican Party headquarters on NE Loop 410. He emerged from early voting with only 37% of the vote.
Previtera said he increased block walking in door-to-door interaction over the weekend and is hopeful that the numbers will turn around. One of his main concerns for the state is adult education, and he cited a high number of adults without a high school diploma in the district he wishes to represent.
"A lot of the things that we're looking at in Austin are focused on Pre-Kindergarten focused on college prep. We need to turn that around and focus just on adult literacy."
He added that if he won, he would like to increase the homestead exemption upon entering the legislature.
UPDATE 7:55 PM: With 12% of the votes counted today, the numbers have remained nearly the same. José Menéndez continues to lead with 60% of the vote over Trey Martinez Fischer. Diego Bernal has 63% over the vote over Nunzio Previtera.
UPDATE 7:46 PM: Still waiting on today's results from the first of 335 precincts. More than 14,000 people cast ballots in early voting.
UPDATE 7:38 PM: TMF works crowd, says they have a challenge.
UPDATE 7:32 PM: A less exuberant mood at the TMF watch party this time.
UPDATE 7:03 PM: The polls are closed and the early voting numbers have been revealed.
In the race for Senate District 26, Jose Menendez is leading Trey Martinez Fischer with 60% of the vote.
In the race for House District 123, Diego Bernal is leading Nunzio Previtera with 63% of the vote.
Tonight at 7:00, polls close for two special election runoffs; that's when we'll begin covering the results. In Bexar County, voters in District 123 are deciding between Diego Bernal and Nunzio Previtera to replace Rep. Mike Villarreal, who is leaving his seat to run for San Antonio Mayor. In Senate District 26, voters are deciding between Trey Martinez Fischer and José Menendez to replace Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who has eyes on the same post as Villarreal. Texas Public Radio's news team will be covering the candidates and updating this post with information throughout the evening, as the returns come in. We'll hear from the winning candidates on-air during Morning Edition.