Leticia Van de Putte

The three highest profile candidates running for San Antonio mayor squared off in their first debate Saturday. It was sponsored by the Asian-American Alliance of San Antonio.  If elected in May, each candidate promised to resolve the contentious issue of the police and firefighters’ contracts.

AUSTIN — Special runoff elections on Feb. 17 will choose a new member of the Texas Senate and new representatives for two House districts.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday set the election date for the last three open seats in the Texas Legislature. The biggest prize is the San Antonio Senate seat that Democrat Leticia Van de Putte has held since 1999.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

Leticia Van de Putte has clearly put that recent unsuccessful run for Lt. Governor behind her. On Thursday, surrounded by supporters and family in the remodeled Westside grocery store that is now her mayoral campaign headquarters, the Democratic state senator told the crowd of about 300 that she was ready to make San Antonio the next great American city.

Shelley Kofler / TPR News

In a packed room at Cha-Cha’s Restaurant, Rep. Jose Menendez told supporters not to worry about his distant, second-place finish in the special election to replace Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in the Texas Senate.  He did well enough to put him into a runoff election with the front-runner, Trey Martinez Fischer, who like Menendez is a Democratic state representative.

Shelley Kofler / TPR News

The candidates’ personalities have become a key issue in tomorrow’s Senate District 26 election.

Five names are on the ballot to replace Leticia Van de Putte who is leaving the legislature to run for San Antonio Mayor. State representatives Jose Menendez and Trey Martinez Fischer, who are both San Antonio Democrats, have emerged as front-runners.