Cole Running to Replace Dukes

One election ends, another begins …

This just in from the Desk of No Surprises: former Mayor pro tem Sheryl Cole has confirmed that she will run in next year's special election to succeed Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Pflugerville, in representing House District 46.

Former Mayor pro tem Sheryl Cole, looking for a House seat in January (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Dukes is on today’s ballot, challenged by Republican Gabriel Nila. She is expected to take the seat easily, but she does not plan to ever retake her office. After 11 legislative sessions, Dukes announced in September that she will retire in January, triggering a special election. The stated reason is ongoing medical issues stemming from a 2013 car wreck, but it’s broadly suspected that an ongoing investigation into allegations she abused her office played a factor.

Former council member and failed 2014 mayoral candidate Cole had already thrown her hat into the ring in consideration of serving as Dukes’ successor in September. She switched from the “maybe” column to “definite” on Monday, when she told The Daily Texan: “I do plan to run for the seat once there’s a [special] election called.”

That makes Cole the only named contender, though there is grumbling discontent among Democratic activists that she is being pushed as the only option by establishment Dems in an effort to dissuade anyone else from getting in the race. The question now becomes whether those complaints will coalesce behind another candidate, if one’s to be found.

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Texas House of Representatives, 85th Legislature, Election 2016, Dawnna Dukes, Sheryl Cole, Special Election

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