Democrat Wins Special Election For Texas House Seat

AUSTIN (January 29, 2014) Voters in north Austin elected a Democrat to represent them in the Texas House, choosing real estate agent and activist Celia Israel to succeed Rep. Mark Strama, who resigned from the House to work for Google.

Turnout was extremely low in the special election on an icy Tuesday.

Israel worked for former Gov. Ann Richards and easily defeated Republican Mike VanDeWalle, a chiropractor making his first bid for elected office.

The two candidates faced off in a runoff Tuesday after neither candidate more than 50 percent of the vote in November.

Israel ran on support for public education.

County officials extended voting by one hour after freezing rain closed Austin schools and shut down eight out of 36 polling stations.

Israel will need to run for re-election again this November.

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