Empty chairs on the Texas House floor in August. Credit: Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

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Gov. Greg Abbott has picked Sept. 28 as the date of the special election to replace former state Rep. Leo Pacheco, D-San Antonio.

The candidate filing deadline is Monday, and early voting starts Sept. 20.

Pacheco resigned effective Aug. 19 to take a job with San Antonio College.

House District 118 is anchored in San Antonio and covers parts of Bexar County south and east of the city. It is a Democratic-friendly district, though Republicans have already made clear they are eyeing it in the special election.

John Lujan, the Republican who previously held the seat for a brief period, has announced a campaign, as has the 2020 GOP nominee for the seat, Adam Salyer. In endorsing Lujan last week, the Associated Republicans of Texas said the special election is “an early opportunity for Republicans to share our values and win new voters in South Texas.”

Republicans are newly targeting the region after President Joe Biden underperformed throughout it last year.

On the Democratic side of the special election, at least two candidates have emerged: Katie Farias, a member of the Southside Independent School District Board of Managers, and Frank Ramirez, a former legislative staffer who most recently was zoning and planning director for the city of San Antonio. Pacheco has endorsed Ramirez to fill his seat.

Disclosure: San Antonio College has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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