Abbott Calls for Emergency Special Election

House seat vacated April 6 due to sexual harassment allegations

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has suspended state law and called a special election in June to fill the seat vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who recently resigned following sexual harassment allegations.

Abbott's Tuesday order schedules an election June 30 for a term expiring at the end of the year.

Farenthold's seat was already being filled in November's general election. But Abbott argued that wasn't fast enough since Hurricane Harvey ravaged the district, which includes Corpus Christi, and evoked emergency powers to ensure it gets a congressional voice faster.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about that same district Tuesday.

A lower court found that its boundaries as drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature marginalized Hispanic voters. The high court could order them redrawn, if it agrees.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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