Special election to replace State Rep. Joe Pickett is underway


Today is the special election to replace District 79 State Rep. Joe Pickett.

Pickett announced last month that he would be stepping down due to health issues.  

Three candidates are vying for the District 79 seat, which encompasses part of East El Paso County. The three candidates include Democrats, former El Paso City Representative Dr. Michiel Noe and EPCC Trustee and chair Art Fierro. The one Republican is retiree Hans Sassenfeld. 

We reached out to all three candidates.

Noe said his main focus is keeping El Paso moving forward.

“This city is progressing our unemployment is down our wages are up the city is becoming more beautiful this area is becoming more vibrant people are really excited about what’s happening in El Paso and I want to and I want to make sure that doesn’t stop,” said Noe.

Hans Sassenfeld the only Republican, said he’s hoping to represent both parties, which many say was something Pickett always tried to do. 

“I would hope that people wouldn’t corral me into thinking that everything that the Republicans support I support I really want to represent all of El Paso and to do that I’m willing to listen and try and incorporate other people thoughts and values. into the final legislation that we pass,” said Sassenfeld.

Art Fierro said he plans on making sure what Picket started gets completed.

“He did such a phenomenal job when it came to transportation issues for El Paso County and that’s one of my commitments to see those projects through completion make sure we have the funding and support to get them through,” said Fierro. 

These candidates only had about a month to campaign so the voting numbers are expected to be low. According to the El Paso County Elections Department, a little more than 2,000 of the more than 88,000 registered voters cast their ballot early.

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