David Yates Jan. 8, 2014, 8:41pm

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - In just a few short weeks, Travis County voters will finally put an end to the seemingly never-ending race to replace former Rep. Mark Strama and fill the Texas House District 50 seat he vacated.

The special runoff election is set for Jan. 28, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Rick Perry.

Early voting will start Monday, Jan. 20 and end Friday.

The only two candidates left standing are Democrat Celia Israel, a realtor in the Austin area, and Republican Mike VanDeWalle, a doctor of chiropractic.

VanDeWalle, a small business owner himself, is promising to make sure Texas remains the job-creating capital of America.

His platform also includes solving Texas healthcare, prioritizing education and increasing Texas energy production.

According to his campaign site, "Dr. VanDeWalle believes that Texas can and should lead our nation to true energy independence. That is why he believes we must take every necessary step to encourage energy production."

His opponent, Israel, is running on a platform of supporting higher education; expanding healthcare; ending discriminatory practices; making renewable energies cost efficient and public transportation more readily available; and investing more in public education.

"If you've had enough of Tea Party politics and are ready to move Texas forward, I hope you will join me," Israel says on her election website.

Last June, Strama abruptly resigned to run Austin's new Google Fiber project, prompting an off-year special election.

From Legal Newsline: Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com.

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