Former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia Joins State Senate Race

Former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia says she'll run for the state Senate seat left open after the death of Mario Gallegos last month. She says she's ready for a new challenge.

Garcia is the latest to join the race for the Senate District 6 seat.

Earlier this week, State Representative Carol Alvarado indicated she'll formally announce her candidacy on Monday. The man who Gallegos beat posthumously on Tuesday, R.W. Bray, also says he'll try again in a special election.

Garcia says she's fully committed to a new political challenge.

"I think the combined experience of local government, county government, my work as a judge, my work as city controller in Houston is sort of the depth and breadth of experience that you need to be at the table in Austin. Whether it's in a committee room or on the floor of the Senate, I think people need someone that has the experience and the leadership to hit the ground running and move forward on the legacy that was left to us by Senator Gallegos and I'm ready to do that."

Garcia was ousted as a County Commissioner by voters in 2010 when many other local Democratic candidates suffered the same fate. Her Senate District 6 campaign website is already up and she says things are moving quickly.

"We're already out campaigning and we're prepared to announce our campaign team and we're going to hit the ground running to make sure that people know that I'll be there to fight for our interests in Austin and we'll always fight to put the interests of the district and the people first."

Before he died, Gallegos reportedly endorsed Carol Alvarado as his successor.

Garcia says that doesn't bother her and that she's just as qualified to replace Gallegos as Alvarado is.

Governor Perry is expected to call a special election to replace Gallegos soon.