This Week in Texas: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Posted November 20, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

Governor Greg Abbott Sets Date for Special Runoff Elections in Texas

Tuesday, January 28, 2020, has been set by Gov. Greg Abbott as the date for special runoff elections to fill three vacant Texas House District seats.  The three seats include House District 28 in Fort Bend County, vacated by Rep. John Zerwas; House District 100 in Dallas County, vacated by Rep. Eric Johnson; and House District 148 in Harris County, vacated by Rep. Jessica Farrar.

In the Fort Bend County race, Democrat Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz will face Republican Gary Gates, a race that has drawn national attention.  Democrat Lorraine Birabil will face Democrat James Armstrong in the Dallas County runoff.  And in the Harris County race, Democrat Anna Eastman will face Republican Luis La Rotta.

In additional election news, mayoral candidates Sylvester Turner and Tony Buzbee will face each other in the runoff election for Houston Mayor set for Saturday, December 14th.

Austin’s Zilker Tree Lighting Set for Sunday, December 1st

Get ready to spin yourself dizzy under the lights at the Zilker Tree!  The annual Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30pm the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, officially kicking off the holiday season in Austin.  First lit on December 10, 1967, the Zilker Holiday Tree tradition is now in its 53rd year.  To create the 155 foot tall man-made tree, 39 strings of over 3,000 colored lights are draped from one of Austin’s 17 historic moontowers — the red, yellow and blue LED bulbs are strategically placed on each string to give the tree its distinctive swirl pattern.  The honor of first lighting the tree each year is awarded to children who have won the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s tree art contest.

The 2019 Zilker Holiday Tree will be lit from 6pm to midnight every night between December 1st and January 1st.

Only in Austin…

Still MORE scooters are zooming around Austin!  Revel, a Brooklyn-based moped-sharing company, released 1,000 sit-down scooters at the beginning of the month, and we’re seeing them all around downtown Austin.  Revel’s blue Vespa-esque scooters and the peppy red versions previously released by Oxnard-based Ojo are touted as zippier options than the more common stand-up scooters, reaching speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and able to last 50 miles on one charge.  According to the city’s mobility site, Austin now has close to 18,000 scooters and e-bikes permitted for circulation.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!  See you in December!