Rep. Eddie Rodriguez drops out of Texas Senate race, Sarah Eckhardt to fill District 14 seat

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez has dropped out of the race for Texas State Senate.

Rodriguez said he will “forego the runoff for Senate and focus my efforts on winning a Democratic majority and promoting an aggressive, progressive agenda in the Texas House,” in a release Monday morning. He will remain the District 51 representative in the Texas House of Representatives.

Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt was Rodriguez’s opponent in the upcoming Senate runoff, after the two received the majority of votes in June’s special election to replace former Sen. Kirk Watson in Senate District 14. Eckhardt now wins the seat.

Watson resigned from his Senate post to become the first dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

Eckhardt won the majority of votes in the special election, but didn’t clear the 50% needed to win it outright at the time. Eckhardt received 49.7% of the vote while Rodriguez received 33.8%.

In his statement, Rep. Rodriguez pledged his commitment to his district and the State of Texas.

“I will be working hard for District 51 and the entire state, pushing a policy agenda that includes strong public schools, increased access to health care, gun violence prevention, meaningful criminal justice reform and policies that respect the dignity of every Texan,” his statement said.

“And to help ensure the success of that agenda, I will redouble my longtime efforts to help Texas elect more legislators of color,” the statement continued.

Rep. Rodriguez ended the statement congratulating Eckhardt, and said he’s looking forward to working with her in the future.

“I congratulate Sarah Eckhardt on her performance in the election, and I wish her well. As Dean of the Travis County delegation, I look forward to working with her to carve a progressive path forward for our shared community,” he said.

Eckhardt says she also looks forward to working with Rodriguez in the future.

“I have deep respect for Representative Rodriguez and the race he ran. I look forward to joining forces with him in the next session to advance our shared progressive values for Bastrop and Travis Counties and for Texas,” she said.

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