Get to Know the Candidates for Today’s House District 125 Special Election

Five candidates, four Democrats and one Republican, are seeking to fill the House District 125 vacancy left by departing State Rep. Justin Rodriguez. - Shutterstock
Five candidates, four Democrats and one Republican, are seeking to fill the House District 125 vacancy left by departing State Rep. Justin Rodriguez.

After a paltry early voter turnout, election day has  arrived for the Texas House District 125 special election.

Voters in the district, which stretches across west and northwest San Antonio, will chose from five candidates — four Democrats and one Republican — to replace Justin Rodriguez, who vacated the seat in January to accept the Bexar County Commissioner's seat left open with the death of Paul Elizondo.

Around 3,350 early votes have been counted so far, which makes turnout less than 4 percent of the more than 101,000 of the district's registered voters.

Polls are open from 7 a.m to 7 p.m., and voters must cast ballots in their precinct. Registration status and polling locations are available at the Bexar County Elections Department website.

Here are the candidates: 

Steve Huerta (Democrat) // Huerta is a civil- and human-rights advocate and co-founder of the youth alternative to incarceration program All of Us or None. State officials have questioned Huerta's eligibility, however, because he is a convicted felon. If elected, Huerta would place criminal justice reform, teacher pay raises and CHIP and Medicaid expansion at the top of his policy agenda.

Ray Lopez (Democrat) // A former San Antonio City Council member, Lopez is considered the favorite in the race. He has out-raised every other candidate combined and won endorsements from state officials and law-enforcement unions. In addition to his service on council, Lopez has also held a seat on the Northside Independent School District board of trustees and is a retired AT&T executive. Lopez said he wants to emphasize public school finance reform, transportation projects and economic growth.

Fred Rangel (Republican) // Rangel is a small-business owner and former city council candidate. As the only Republican, Rangel has received endorsements from notable Texas GOP leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn. Rangel said he would tackle school finance reform, property tax reform and economic development if he is elected.

Coda Rayo-Garza (Democrat) // Rayo-Garza, the race's youngest candidate, is a policy advocate who works as a senior coordinator for the San Antonio Independent School District. Rayo-Garza has been endorsed by the San Antonio Express-News editorial board and former congressional candidate Gina Ortiz-Jones. She would emphasize education, healthcare and infrastructure investment if elected.

Art Reyna (Democrat) // Reyna served as representative for District 125 from 1997 to 2003. He's also served as a Leon Valley City Council member and currently works as an attorney in San Antonio. Reyna said he would champion public education, healthcare and women’s rights in a second stint representing the district.

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