This week, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, announced that she plans to stay in office.
It was just last year that she told voters, as she was running for re-election for House District 46, that she would resign at the beginning of this legislative session. At the time, she cited health reasons. The announcement also came while Dukes was under a criminal investigation, an investigation which is still ongoing.
It was too late to take Dukes’ name off the ballot, though. So, Dukes, said if she won, she would be sworn in and would subsequently resign.
Dukes’ reversal means a lot of her constituents who might have thought they were voting for a special election that, now, may not happen.
After being sworn in on Tuesday, Dukes, who represents parts East and Central Austin, told reporters she was convinced by supporters to stay put.
“I listened to constituents who requested over and over and over again since my announcement that I would reconsider that I would come back,” she said. “Election Night they pressed harder and harder and reminded me that I had won with 70 percent, even though I didn’t campaign.”
That same day, Travis County prosecutors announced they would ask a grand jury to indict her over allegations Dukes misused campaign funds and tampered with government documents. To folks who were expecting her to resign, the change of heart was pretty frustrating.