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Government/Politics

Special House Election Will Decide Next Legislator Representing Bexar County

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Joey Palacios
/
Texas Public Radio
Political signs hang on the fence of Somerset High School; one of the only early voting locations in House District 118.

Early voting has been extremely light in the race to elect a new representative for Bexar County’s House District 118.  Six candidates are vying to succeed Rep. Joe Farias who’s vacating his seat early.

In the first 8 days of early voting just over 2 percent of Bexar County registered voters have gone to the polls.

House District 118 makes up the south and east portions of the county where nearly three-quarters of the residents are Hispanic. 

Farias, a democrat, has represented the area in the Texas House since first being elected in 2006. There will be a little longer than a year left in his term. Joint Base San Antonio - Randolph is located in District 118, and Farias,  a Vietnam veteran, hopes his successor will continue his commitment to  defend military needs. 

This year Farias played a big role in killing legislation that would have gutted the Hazelwood Act, the state’s college-tuition reimbursement program for veterans and their families.

“What the bill did is gut the whole thing and really hurt the children of veterans,” he said.

Farias would also like to see the next district representative continue a fight he didn’t win — stricter regulation of payday lenders.

“I think they take advantage of people in my community and in other communities like mine. And to be able to take someone and take their money, and ... get $800 on a $300 loan, that’s just not right,” he said.

Three democrats and three republicans are vying to complete Farias’ term. 

Among democrats is his son Gabe Farias who is president of the Westside Chamber of Commerce. Former Harlandale school board member Anthony Alcoser, and incumbent Harlendale board member Thomas Uresti, also want the job.

Republicans on the ballot include former marine and retired Army Col. Robert A. Casias, former firefighter and technology business owner John Lujan, and Michael Holdman, an owner of three small businesses.

If no one receives more than 50 percent of the vote next Tuesday, the top two vote-getters will compete in a runoff.