Eddie Rodriguez Ends Senate Campaign

"I have decided to forego the run-off for Senate …"

After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez announced this morning that he is withdrawing from the run-off for state Senate, conceding the SD 14 race to former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt.

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Rodriguez, who remains in his House District 51 seat, congratulated Eckhardt, and said he looked forward to working with her on an "aggressive, progressive agenda." He does have a Republican opponent (Robert Reynolds) for November, but is likely to be easily re-elected.

On her Facebook page, Eckhardt posted a statement: "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."

Although the SD 14 race had not been finally canvassed, Eckhardt was unofficially within a few hundred votes of winning a majority, with 49.7% of more than 119,000 votes. Rodriguez finished with 33.8% – a 16% deficit that would have been daunting for a run-off, if not insurmountable. Until a few days ago, the Rodriguez campaign was insisting that their candidate remained "in it to win it."

Eckhardt will serve out the remainder of the term (through 2022) of former Sen. Kirk Watson, who resigned to accept a deanship at the Univ. of Houston.

Sarah Eckhardt (Photo by Jana Birchum)

In a lengthy concession release, Rodriguez focused on his 18-year record of fighting for "progressive" values as a House member. "As a person of color in a consistently minority party, it has rarely been easy," he wrote, "but as a senior House member I’ve managed to expand free school breakfast to Texas children, create economic opportunities for underserved communities, and help stave off the worst Republican policies, to name just a few proud moments."

He pointed to the Democratic opportunity to flip the House this November – requiring victories in at least nine seats currently held by Republicans – and said, “For that reason, I have decided to forego the runoff for Senate and focus my efforts on winning a Democratic majority and promoting an aggressive, progressive agenda in the Texas House."

Rodriguez thanked his supporters and his family, and concluded, "As Dean of the Travis County delegation, I look forward to working with [Eckhardt] to carve a progressive path forward for our shared community.”

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Eddie Rodriguez
Texas' Big, Bad Week for Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering
Texas' Big, Bad Week for Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering
Within two days, courts reject second election map, voter ID bill

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 25, 2017

Last Day at the Lege
Last Day at the Lege
Sine die arrives as threat of a special session looms

Richard Whittaker, May 29, 2017

More by Michael King
SXSW Film Review: <i>Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America</i>
SXSW Film Review: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Jeffery Robinson's captivating lecture on America's shared legacy

March 24, 2021

Book Review: <i>I Came As a Shadow</i> by John Thompson
Book Review: I Came As a Shadow by John Thompson
Coach's autobiography is a tale of U.S. sports and U.S. history

March 3, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SD 14, Eddie Rodriguez, Sarah Eckhardt

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle