HOUSTON -- Former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia won a special runoff election for the seat of the late state Sen. Mario Gallegos.

Garcia received 52.9 percent of the vote, or 9,562 votes, while fellow Democrat and state rep. Carol Alvarado received 47.0, or 8,514 votes. The percentages were similar for the early vote with Garcia getting 5,101 votes and Alvarado receiving 4,448 votes.

Gallegos, a Houston Democrat, died of liver disease in October. It was too late to remove his name from the November ballot and he was posthumously elected to another term in his heavily Hispanic district.

Saturday s special election comes after Garcia won the opening round of voting in January by nearly four percentage points over Alvarado. But she failed to capture a majority in an eight-candidate field, prompting a runoff.

Both sides have raised and spent more than $1 million, a princely sum for a state senate race especially since both candidates agree on a lot politically and ideologically.

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