Markowitz, Gates in runoff

Democrat Eliz Markowitz of Katy and Republican Gary Gates of Rosenberg will square off next month to see which one replaces John Zerwas as representative in Texas House District 28.

Markowitz and Gates received the most votes in Tuesday’s special election. Gov. Gregg Abbott has yet to announce the date of the runoff election. None of the seven candidates — one Democrat and six Republicans — seeking the office drew close to 50% of the votes cast needed on Tuesday to be declared the outright winner.

Markowitz, an educator, earned the most votes — 11,355, or 39.06% percent of the 29,074 votes cast in the election.

Gates, a real estate executive, earned the second most votes, 8,271, or 28.45% of the votes cast.

The winner of the runoff election will fill the unexpired term of Zerwas, R-Richmond, who announced his resignation last summer to accept a position at the University of Texas System.

Former Fulshear City Council woman Tricia Krenek is the only other candidate to receive double-digit votes — 18.13%, or 5,272 votes.

Other Republicans seeking to replace Zerwas were Clinton Purnell, Dr. Anna Allred, Gary Hale and Sarah Laningham, none of whom received more than 10% of the votes cast.

House District 28, which stretches from Katy to Rosenberg and from Simonton to Houston, has been represented by Dr. John Zerwas since 2006. The position pays $720 per month and includes a $191 per diem during session. Because Rosenberg, Needville, Beasley and Kendleton are not in District 28, residents there could only vote on the 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.

A total of 30,639 voters cast ballots in the race for District 28, the constitutional amendments and various other races during early voting.

Here’s how Fort Bend County residents voted on the proposed amendments, followed with the statewide results:

• Proposition 1, which would amend the Texas Constitution to allow a municipal judge to be elected in more than one jurisdiction — for, 31%; against, 69%. Statewide, the proposition was defeated. Texas voters cast 1.1 million votes against the proposition and 611,323 against it.

• Proposition 3, would allow the Texas Legislature to give a temporary property tax exemption in a disaster area — for, 87%; against, 13%. Statewide, the proposition passed. Texas voters cast 1.41 million votes for the proposition and 263,741 against it.

• Proposition 4, would prohibit the Texas Legislature from establishing a personal state income tax — for, 74.5%; against, 26%. Statewide, the proposition passed. Seventy-five percent of Texas voters cast ballots in favor of preventing the state from establishing a state income tax.

• Proposition 5, would require the Legislature to allocate sales tax revenue from sporting goods sales to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission — for, 87.5%; against, 12.5%. Statewide, the proposition passed. Texas voters cast 1.5 million votes for the proposition and 210,989 against it.

• Proposition 6, would authorize the Legislature to double the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to $6 billion — for, 70%; against, 30%. A total of 1,106,198 voters statewide cast ballots in favor of the proposal — 63%, and 638,832 against it.

• Proposition 7, would double the amount of money that the General Land Office could distribute to the Available School Fund to $600 million — for, 76.6%; against 23.4%. Statewide, the proposal passed with 73.5% percent of Texas voters endorsing the proposal.

• Proposition 8, which would create a Flood Infrastructure Fund to assist in financing drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control products — for, 86%; against, 14%. Statewide, the proposition passed with 77% percent of Texas voters approving the proposal.

• Proposition 9, would authorize the legislature to exempt precious metals held in a Texan precious metal depository to be exempted from property taxes — for, 51.7%; against, 12.4%. Statewide, the proposition squeaked by with 51.73% of Texas voters approving the idea and 48.27% disapproving it.

• Proposition 10, which would allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances — for, 91.5%; against, 8.5%.Statewide, the measure passed overwhelmingly as well with 94% of Texas voters approving the concept.

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