The lawmaker, one of two physicians in the Senate, announced earlier this year that he was quitting politics to pursue as yet unannounced private business ventures. The only mystery has been the timing.
The resignation of Janek, who served in the House for four terms before winning his Senate seat, will prompt Gov. Rick Perry to call a special election. And the hopefuls from both parties are wasting little time getting their names in front of the public.
Republican activist Austen Furse of Houston reportedly has a campaign apparatus ready to go. And state Rep. Charlie Howard, a Sugar Land Republican, is also considered a possible candidate.
Among the Democrats, 2006 gubernatorial nominee and former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell is getting encouragement to seek the seat, an aide said. State Rep. Scott Hochberg of Houston is also taking a look.
Janek's District 17 has been safely Republican since Buster Brown wrested it from Democrat Babe Schwartz in 1980. But the Democrats say shifting demographics and perceived GOP fatigue could make for a competitive contest in an open seat.