Texas House District 28 Holds Special Election November 5th


John Zerwas

Representative John Zerwas, former chair of the Texas House budget-writing Appropriations Committee, recently announced his resignation from the Legislature after representing House District 28 for more than a decade. Zerwas will serve as the new executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Texas System where he will oversee a network of six health institutions, including four medical schools, two dental schools and three nursing schools.

What Zerwas’ resignation means for the now vacant seat of the Richmond/Katy area House District 28 is a special election scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th. Seven candidates, one Democrat and six Republicans, have filed for the seat.

The Democratic candidate is Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz, the sole Democrat to file. Markowitz is a Katy teacher who unsuccessfully ran last year for the State Board of Education District 7.

Six Republican candidates have filed for the seat:

• Houston anesthesiologist Anna Allred, who is from the same physician group as Zerwas.

• Rosenberg businessman Gary Gates, who unsuccessfully ran for railroad commissioner in 2016.

• Gary J. Hale, a Katy business owner, who has his own intelligence firm and is a retired intelligence official with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

• Katy attorney and former Fulshear City Council member Tricia Krenek, who unsuccessfully ran for Judge, County Court at Law No. 3.

• Sarah Laningham, a Richmond resident who works in sales and unsuccessfully ran for House District 14 in 2018.

• Katy’s Clinton D. Purnell, who works in logistics and customs compliance.

The six Republican candidates make a December runoff likely between one of the candidates and Markowitz, who will have the sole Democratic vote.