While much of the political world has been focused on the governor’s race and the March primary, there are two candidates urging voters to head to the polls right away. Democrat Celia Israel and Republican Mike VanDeWalle are competing in a runoff election to replace Mark Strama, who resigned last summer, and early voting is almost over.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we highlighted their efforts to get out the vote in spite of cold weather and typically low turnout.

SEARCH FOR STOCKMAN

In the primary race for one U.S. Senate seat, it’s the case of the missing candidate. Congressman Steve Stockman is one of seven Republicans challenging John Cornyn for his job. He made waves after filing at the last minute to run against Cornyn, and for inviting outspoken rocker Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address.

But lately, Stockman been missing in action — both on the campaign trail and in Congress.
The Associated Press reports Stockman has missed 17 House votes in a row since Jan. 9 and has been mostly absent from the campaign trail.

We talked to political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi about that story, along with the governor’s race and some headline-grabbing remarks from Gov. Rick Perry in Switzerland.

CANDIDATE CONVERSATION

George P. Bush isn’t the only name in the race for land commissioner. Former El Paso Mayor John Cook joined us live in-studio to talk about his bid for the statewide office.