CHRIS TOMLINSON, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Voters in north Austin have re-elected a Democrat to represent them in the Texas House, choosing real estate agent and activist Celia Israel.

Turnout was extremely low on an icy Tuesday special election to replace Mark Strama, who resigned his District 50 seat to work for Google.

Israel worked for former Gov. Ann Richards and easily defeated Republican Mike VanDeWalle, a chiropractor making his first bid for elected office.

The two candidates faced-off in a runoff Tuesday after neither candidate collected more than 50 percent of the vote in November. Israel ran on support for public education.

County officials extended voting by one hour after freezing rain closed Austin schools and shut down eight out of 36 polling stations.

Israel will need to run for re-election again this November.

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