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HD44

Kuempel wins his father’s seat

We have a full House again.

John Kuempel, son of the late state Rep. Edmund Kuempel, won a special election Tuesday to fill his late father’s seat, state election officials said. With all precincts reporting, John Kuempel, 40, received 65 percent of the votes cast.

Voters chose between six Republicans, two Democrats and a Libertarian. The second-runner, Republican Gary Inmon, got 10 percent.

Any time you can win a multi-candidate special election with a majority of the vote, never mind 65%, it’s impressive. With the two party switchers, the GOP caucus now stands at 101 members. I wish the younger Kuempel all the luck in the world as he helps his party try to fix all of the problems they created.

Lineup set for HD44 special election

Here are your candidates for the special election to replace the late Rep. Edmund Kuempel of Seguin.

Tony Gergely, a Seguin business owner, is the Libertarian in the race.

The Democrats are Daniel Rodriguez Andrade of Seguin, who lists his occupation as “real estate/business owner,” and Cheryl Dees Patterson, a Seguin realtor.

The Republican list consists of Ron Avery, a Seguin architect; Chris Burchell, who’s in law enforcement in Adkins; Jim Fish, a small business owner from Cibolo; Gary Inmon, an attorney and school board member in Schertz (and the incoming president of the Texas Association of School Boards); John Kuempel, a Seguin salesman who’s running for the seat left open by his father’s death; Myrna McLeroy of Gonzales, who’s in petroleum land services; and Robin Walker, a self-employed business manager from Seguin who challenged the late representative in the March primary, gathering just 25.4 percent of the vote.

I can picture scenarios in which a Democrat makes it to the runoff, given the sheer size of this field, but not one in which he or she wins it. Without knowing anything else about the people listed above, the ones who strike me as having the best shot are Inmon, Walker, and the younger Kuempel. If you know more about this, please comment.

UPDATE: BOR tells us more about one of the Democratic candidates for this seat.

Special election to succeed Rep. Kuempel set

Not surprisingly, Gov. Perry has set it for as soon as possible.

The election for the term beginning in 2011 will be held Dec. 14, the governor’s office said.

Candidates for District 44 in Texas House of Representatives must file applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 15.

The early voting will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.

Even in a good Democratic year, this is a solid Republican district, so the only question will be whether someone can win this without a runoff or not. If there is a runoff, it will be in early January, so the Republicans won’t be missing a member for any significant length of time.

RIP, Rep. Edmund Kuempel

State Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) has passed away at the age of 67.

Kuempel, a salesman with CMC Steel Texas in Seguin, is chairman of the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee, the panel through which gambling legislation typically flows.

A House member since 1983, he was formerly chairman of the House Administration Committee, the Committee on Retirement and Aging and the Committee on State Recreational Resources.

Kuempel, a graduate of Austin High School, is one of the most jovial members in the House, known for greeting women with a kiss on the cheek or hand.

Burka and the Trib have more. Kuempel collapsed during the 2009 session and was resuscitated by Rep. John Zerwas, who is an anesthesiologist. There will need to be a special election to replace him, which I presume we will hear about in a few days. The Licensing committee is the one that oversaw gambling legislation, so Kuempel’s passing may make the road for expanded gambling even rockier. But that’s a subject for another day. My sincere condolences to the Kuempel family for your loss. From all I’ve read, it’s clear that everyone who knew him liked him, and they will all miss him.