Eight candidates, runoff possible.
The special election to replace the late State Senator Mario Gallegos gets underway Wednesday as Harris County opens seven early voting locations.
Carol Alvarado hopes her experience in the state House puts her ahead of the crowded field that includes former Harris County commissioner Sylvia Garcia, Republican R.W. Bray, and others.
"There's no learning curve, there's no time to get oriented or get briefed on the issues," Alvarado tells KTRH News.
Whoever wins will have to hit the ground running.
"Getting sworn-in possibly January 27, or sometime in March when the session is in full swing," says Alvarado. "And immediately stepping on the Senate floor and getting to work."
Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart warns without a clear winner, a runoff could be scheduled in March.
"That's very likely," Stanart says. "With eight candidates it is very possible."
For voting information in Senate District 6, click here.