Despite Rumors, Neither Tillman Nor Zerwas Eligible For Janek’s Seat
Despite being named as possible contenders to replace recently resigned State Sen. Kyle Janek, neither former NFL player and sportscaster Spencer Tillman nor current District 28 State Rep. John Zerwas are eligible to run for the office due to residency requirements.
The names of both Tillman and Zerwas have repeatedly surfaced in political circles as potential candidates for the Texas Senate District 17 seat; however, neither currently reside within the expansive district. The deadline for establishing residency in order to be eligible to run passed last November.
District 17 includes a good portion of eastern Fort Bend County, Sugar Land and Missouri City, as well as parts of Harris, Brazoria, Wharton, Galveston, Chambers and Jefferson counties.
Janek announced in January that he would be stepping down, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. He formally resigned last week, giving his letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Perry during a luncheon in Austin.
Sources close to Tillman confirmed that he had initially been approached about running but dismissed the idea due to the residency issue. A representative for Zerwas said he “didn’t know where (the idea of running) came from” and that Zerwas had never been interested in the race.
Businessman and former George H.W. Bush Administration appointee Austen Furse, a West University Place resident, has formally announced that he is running for the District 17 senate seat.
Other names that have surfaced as possible candidates are Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, District 26 State Rep. Charlie Howard and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell.