Perry sets special election date for Senate District 17

Marilyn Tennissen Jun. 4, 2008, 9:00am

Kyle Janek

AUSTIN – A special election will be held in November to fill the vacancy in Texas Senate District 17, Gov. Rick Perry announced June 4.

The special election will be held on the next general election date, Nov. 4, 2008. The seat was left vacant by the resignation of state Sen. Kyle Janek.

As the Southeast Texas Record reported earlier this year, the Houston Republican who represents parts of Jefferson County announced on Jan. 29 that he would resign his seat in June.

Candidates for this special election must file applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5 p.m. on Aug. 29. The early voting period for this special election runs from Oct. 20 to 31.

The senator elected in this special election will serve out the remainder of Sen. Janek's term, which expires Jan. 2011.

Janek, an anesthesiologist, was elected to represent District 17 in 2002. The district includes parts of Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Chambers and Jefferson counties. The senator said he was stepping down to spend more time with his family.

He spent eight years in the state House before he was first elected to the Senate in 2002. He won re-election in 2006 with 78 percent of the votes against a Libertarian candidate. Janek had no Democratic opponent in 2006.

Janek's departure means Republicans will hold a 19-11 majority in the Texas Senate, and may give Democrats an opening in the district that has been a GOP stronghold.

Janek was unsure of his future plans, and told reporters in Austin that he may continue his medical practice there.

The senator was instrumental in the 2007 passage of the high school steroids tests bill first touted by fellow Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

He most recently served as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Technologies & Economic Development, as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, and as a member of the Education Committee, the Subcommittee on Higher Education, the Finance Committee, the Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education and the Health & Human Services Committee.

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