On the day Governor Rick Perry set a Jan. 26 election date, District 6 State Senate candidate Sylvia Garcia repeated her charge that there's far too much secrecy surrounding her opponent's personal cash flow.
"Everybody has a right to make a living, but you just need to disclose it," said Garcia.
It's income that State Representative Carol Alvarado has long generated as a political consultant for clients, both public and private.
"We don't need someone down there who can't fight the fight because there is sort of a personal pocketbook issue. The only issue I have is the taxpayer's pocketbook, not my own," said Garcia.
A former Harris County Commissioner, Garcia has challenged Alvarado to release her tax returns and client list.
"We have nothing to hide. I am proud of the work that I do," said Alvarado.
FOX 26 News asked Alvarado if and when she would release her returns.
"We will do that at the right time. Pretty soon," said Alvarado.
In the meantime, Alvarado is counterattacking. Her campaign circulated copies of a lien from the Texas Workforce Commission alleging Garcia's last campaign failed to pay $761 worth of payroll taxes.
"It is being irresponsible, but it's also hypocritical when your business, your house is not in order," said Alvarado.
Garcia called the tax issue a "sort of bureaucratic snafu" that's being resolved.
Rice University professor and political analyst Mark Jones described Garcia's tax dispute as "trivial." He views Alvarado's reluctance to release tax returns as potentially far more critical in a very close contest.
"As long as Alvarado does not release this information, there is always going to be doubt in the electorate about whether she is hiding something and allows Garcia to attack her," said Jones.
Republican R.W. Bray is also competing to replace deceased State Senator Mario Gallegos in the eastside district.