Race for Texas House 28 heads for runoff

A runoff election will determine who will succeed Republican John Zerwas as the representative for Texas House District 28.

In what was considered one of the most closely followed races of the recent election cycle, Democrat Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz secured 39 percent of the vote, with Republican Gary Gates trailing her with 28 percent of the vote. Because Markowitz, an educator from Katy, did not cross the 50-percent threshold, she and Gates are expected to face off again in a race in December.

Zerwas represented Texas House 28, which is primarily located in Fort Bend County, for 12 years, but the Richmond physician decided to vacate the seat last summer. He earned re-election in the 2018 midterm elections despite the so-called Blue Wave that placed many Democrats in public offices nationwide.

For Republicans, the race presents a chance for the district to remain red. Senator Ted Cruz edged Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the district by 3 points.

Gary Gates  

The Republican Party of Texas is closely working with the Fort Bend County Republican Party to ensure solid GOP voter turnout.

As for Gates, the businessman hopes Texas House 28 will be the one race he finally wins after having unsuccessfully run for several other positions. He failed in his bid for railroad commissioner in 2016.

Democrats believe that Markowitz claiming the traditionally Republican seat would be the key to eventually flipping the state blue. Fort Bend County saw many Democrats swept into office, including County Judge KP George, last November.

Markowitz was the sole Democrat candidate for the district on the November 5 ballot. She is also no stranger to unsuccessful bids for political office as she lost the race for State Board of Education District 7.

Texas House 28 was one of three races to fill vacancies in the legislature.

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