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Texas Election Source provides frequent, insightful updates to our subscribers about the state of elections in Texas. We track more than 600 candidates for statewide office, Congress, the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. We also follow special elections, important local elections and constitutional amendment elections. If you’re interested in Texas politics, then let Texas Election Source be your guide to the ballot box.

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Recently Posted News & Analysis

More Democrats Facing Primary Challengers and Other News for December 12

Just a reminder that the 2020 candidate lists are still not yet official. While we await the final certifications of the Republican and Democratic Parties, we are also awaiting the Libertarian and Green candidate rosters and the list of independents who have filed their declarations of intent.

More Democratic legislators are facing primary challengers than Republican legislators for the first time since 2004. Unofficially, 29 Democratic incumbents have primary opponents compared to nine incumbent Republicans.

Fewer House Republicans are facing primary opposition that at any time since at least 2000. From 2012 to 2018, an average of 26 House Republicans had a primary opponent. So far this year, just nine House Republicans face a contested primary.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Filings at Near Record Pace and Other News for December 11

For the second consecutive election cycle, more Texas statewide offices, legislative seats and congressional seats are being contested by Democrats than Republicans, according to our quick analysis of preliminary candidate filing data. Of the 211 such seats on the November 2020 ballot, at least one Democrat is running for 184 (87%) and at least one Republican is running for 178 (84%).

This represents a narrower gap than in 2018, when Democrats contested 91% of these races and Republicans ran for 80%. For Democrats, the current 87% is the second highest since at least 1992 and represents a 22 percentage point increase over four years ago. Republicans are right at their all-time record of 84%, which they set in 2012.

While competition between the parties has increased slightly, the number of filed candidates running as Democrats and Republicans is likely to end up significantly lower than in 2018.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Frequent Updates & Analyses

Our subscribers have access to our complete reports and analyses, including our archives, that cover the gamut from breaking campaign news to thoughtful exploration of the deeper trends in Texas. Links to our latest reports and updates are emailed straight to our subscribers’ inboxes.

Updated Candidate Lists & Campaign Finances

Our subscribers have access to our Crib Sheets: complete, up-to-date and accurate lists of candidates running for Congress, statewide office and the Legislature and more. See their latest campaign finance figures, past election results and other helpful information.

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On Election Nights, our subscribers receive relevant results fast, often before they appear on publicly available outlets, and get our analysis of trends and their implications while votes are still being counted. Know who’s winning before everyone else!

Zedler Withdraws and Other Day After Deadline News

Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) has formally withdrawn from the 2020 primary ballot and will not seek re-election, citing health issues. He was facing a primary challenge from Mansfield Mayor David Cook, who filed yesterday (Monday) just before the deadline. Because of Zedler’s decision to withdraw today (Tuesday), the filing period for HD96 will re-open through December 16. Fort Worth attorney Joe Drago and Crowley attorney Ryan Ray have filed in the Democratic primary.

Primaried Incumbents

As we await the final certification of candidates, here is our preliminary list of incumbents facing primary opponents. If an incumbent faces multiple primary challengers, then the number of opponents is indicated in parentheses.

Republicans

Statewide: Bert Richardson, Ryan Sitton

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Deadline Day Surprises Include Lang’s Exit, Bush’s Entry

Today (Monday) was the filing deadline for most candidates seeking partisan office in 2020. At least 53 were “new” candidates for federal, state or legislative office in the sense that we were not tracking them, had not reported on them this cycle and did not have them listed on our Crib Sheets. As always, there were some surprises and unexpected decisions. We have updated our Crib Sheets to the best of our ability, but we expect there will be additional changes during the week as the final candidate rosters are prepared. We also have not seen any candidate rosters from the Libertarian and Green Parties.

Top News

HD2: Royse City financial services manager Bryan Slaton filed to challenge Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) in the Republican primary for the third time. Flynn defeated Slaton, 52%-48%, in the 2018 primary and 51%-49% in the 2016 primary. Flynn also drew a new general election challenger in Como consultant Bill Brannon, who filed as a Democrat.

HD30: Victoria Army veteran, Texas Medical Board member and Republican precinct chair Vanessa Hicks-Callaway filed to challenge Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) in the Republican primary. Morrison has not faced a primary challenger since 1998, the year she was first elected to the Legislature. Among sitting legislators, only Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Reps. Tom Craddick (R-Midland), Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas) and John Smithee (R-Amarillo) have gone longer without facing primary opposition.

HD60: Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) reportedly filed for Hood Co. Commissioner just before today’s deadline, canceling his re-election bid. Lang initially said he would run for county office before abruptly reversing course and choosing to run for re-election. He filed for re-election on November 20. Three Republicans – Graford rancher Glenn Rogers, Granbury attorney Kellye Sorelle and, reportedly, Mineral Wells Mayor Christopher Perricone – have already filed for the race. Lang’s late decision not to run will reopen the filing period for the seat by one week.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

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Filing and Turnout News for Deadline Eve

Tomorrow (Monday) is the deadline for candidates to file for a spot on the March 3 primary ballot as a Democrat or Republican, or to be eligible to receive the nomination of the Green or Libertarian Parties at their conventions. It is also the deadline for candidates to file to run under the banner of a political party not currently having ballot access.

It will take at more than a week to determine with certainty all of the candidates who filed and were certified to be on the ballot. County parties have until December 17 to electronically submit their candidate rosters to the Secretary of State, and state parties have a December 18 deadline. Candidates seeking to have their names removed from the ballot must withdraw by Tuesday.

There are still ways to reach the ballot if a candidate fails to file by the close of business Monday. There may be chances for partisan candidates to file past the December 9 deadline in specific cases of vacancies or the withdrawal of the lone candidate. Independent candidates must file declarations of intent to run by December 9. Write-in candidates must file their declarations of candidacy by August 17, 2020.

We expect a significant number of “new” candidates – candidates we have not previously reported on or listed in our Crib Sheets – to file by the deadline, and we anticipate not being able to research them fully by our publication time. We will list them in the style used below.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

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Candidates Filing Up and Down Ballot as Deadline Looms

Correction: In yesterday’s edition, we erroneously indicated Jacey Jetton was running for Congress when we reported that U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) had endorsed him. Jetton is running to succeed the retiring state Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land). We regret the error and have corrected the story online.

Filing period: Monday is the deadline for candidates to file for a spot on the Democratic or Republican primary ballot or to be considered for nomination at a minor party convention. As of the end of today (Saturday), at least 559 people have filed for federal, statewide or legislative office as a Republican or Democrat. Our Crib Sheets show the filing status for the candidates we are tracking.

We expect tomorrow (Sunday) to be fairly quiet, and we anticipate a late rush of candidates filing right on the deadline. As of this moment, all incumbents who have announced plans to seek re-election have filed except possibly for three members of Congress: U.S. Reps. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) and Ron Wright (R-Arlington). It is possible Allred and Castro could have filed at their county party office and that information has not been reported. In general, we are seeing much less information about candidate filings at the local level than in past years.

Because of the expected high volume of filings on Monday, and the fact that we have very little information on Libertarian and Green Party filing activity, we expect it will take us up to a week to capture all of the filed candidates in our Crib Sheets.

RRC: Dallas attorney Mark Watson filed as a Democrat to challenge Comm. Ryan Sitton (R).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Candidates Rush to Beat Deadline and Other News for December 6

As of the end of the day (Friday), there are just three incumbents that we expect are seeking re-election for whom we have not seen a confirmation that they have filed:

  • Statewide: none
  • Senate: none
  • House: none
  • Congress: U.S. Reps. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) and Ron Wright (R-Arlington).

At least 541 people have filed as a Democrat or Republican for federal, statewide and legislative office in Texas. We have not seen any candidate lists from the Libertarian or Green Parties. Monday is the deadline for candidates to file for a spot on the primary ballot or to be considered for nomination at a minor party convention. Our Crib Sheets have the latest information on who we can confirm has filed as the deadline approaches.

Subscribers can read about the 31 new candidates who filed or took a formal step toward running today, the one who suspended his campaign and the six who received key endorsements.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Candidate Filing News for December 4

Monday is the deadline for candidates to file for spots on the March 2020 primary ballot and minor party nominating conventions. Our Crib Sheets show candidates’ filing status. At least 458 candidates have filed for federal, statewide and legislative office so far.

As of the end of the day (Wednesday), there are 18 incumbents that we expect are seeking re-election for whom we have not seen a confirmation that they have filed:

  • Statewide: none
  • Senate: none
  • House: Reps. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg), Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville), Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), Terry Meza (D-Irving), Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson), Richard Raymond (D-Laredo), Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville), Hugh Shine (R-Temple) and Shawn Thierry (D-Houston).
  • Congress: U.S. Reps. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock), Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) and Ron Wright (R-Arlington).

Some of these incumbents serve districts entirely located within one county, raising the prospects that the county party has not reported their filings online or to the Secretary of State. We have seen far less information about filed candidates at the local level this year than in previous years. Only a handful of local parties are posting candidate lists, and the Republican Party of Texas is the only state party posting lists of filings (as far as we can tell).

HD89: Plano tax attorney and former Murphy council member Ray Ash filed as a Democrat for a rematch against Rep. Candy Noble (R-Lucas), who defeated Ash, 60%-40%, in the 2018 general election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Candidate Filing News for December 3

The filing period ends Monday. Our Crib Sheets have the latest information on candidates’ filing status. At least 436 candidates have filed for federal, statewide or legislative office so far.

SD19: San Antonio resident Belinda Shvetz filed as a Democrat to challenge Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton). She established a federal campaign committee for a 2010 challenge of then-U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) but did not appear on the ballot.

HD144: An individual named Tony Salas filed as a Republican to challenge Rep. Mary Ann Perez (D-Houston). We were unable to indentify the candidate conclusively.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Judge Issues Restraining Order on Minor Party Filing Fees

A state district judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring state and Harris Co. officials from imposing filing fees on minor party candidates. District Judge Kristen Hawkins found that plaintiffs “would not have an adequate remedy at law and would suffer imminent and irreparable harm” if the new law were enforced.

Prior to this year, only Democratic and Republican candidates paid the fees, or submitted petitions and signatures in lieu thereof, as a means of financing the party’s primary elections. The Libertarian and Green Parties nominate their general election candidates in conventions. House Bill 2504 by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) imposed those filing fees on minor party candidates even though they are not nominated in primary elections.

Neil Dikeman, the lead plaintiff in the case and the Libertarian Party’s 2018 nominee for U.S. Senate, said the Legislature opted to “risk a constitutional challenge just to limit the competitiveness of races and keep Libertarians off the ballot.” Opponents of House Bill 2504 argued that the bill would likely reduce the number of minor party candidates, even as it lowered the threshold for a party to retain access to the ballot, because of the added costs to the candidates. Historically, most minor party candidates raise less than $5K during an election cycle.

“This temporary injunction was a crucial step to ensuring voters have choice at the ballot box,” said Kathie Glass, the Harris Co. Libertarian Party chair and a two-time Libertarian gubernatorial nominee. “Half of all Texas races in 2018 would have been unopposed without Libertarian Party nominees.” Libertarian nominees were on the general election ballot for 76 state and federal races that year.

A trial in the case has been set for February 18.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Rick Miller Retiring in Wake of ‘Asian’ Comments

Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) announced he was abandoning his re-election bid hours after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) rescinded his endorsement of the four-term lawmaker for comments Miller made to the Houston Chronicle’s Andrea Zelinski that his primary opponents were running because they were “Asian.”

In a statement, Miller said he did not want to be “a distraction for my party or my constituents.” He has until Tuesday to withdraw formally in order for his name to be left off the ballot.

Three other Republicans – Sugar Land management analyst Leonard Chan, former Fort Bend Co. Republican chair Jacey Jetton and Richmond adjustor Matt Morgan – have previously filed for the race. Following Miller’s departure from the race, Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R) endorsed Jetton.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

One Week Left to File and Other News for December 2

One week remains for candidates to file for spots on the March 2020 primary ballot and minor party nominating conventions. See our Crib Sheets for candidates’ filing status.

There are 30 incumbents that we expect are seeking re-election for whom we have not seen a confirmation that they have filed:

  • Statewide: Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Kevin Yeary (R)
  • Senate: none
  • House: Reps. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg), Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville), John Frullo (R-Lubbock), Ana Hernandez (D-Houston), Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston), Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), Terry Meza (D-Irving), Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson), Richard Raymond (D-Laredo), Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville), Carl Sherman (D-Dallas), Hugh Shine (R-Temple), James Talarico (D-Round Rock), Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) Armando Walle (D-Houston)
  • Congress: U.S. Reps. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock), Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston), Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), Lizzie Fletcher (D-Houston), Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), Michael McCaul (R-Austin), Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) and Ron Wright (R-Arlington).

Most of these incumbents serve districts entirely located within one county, raising the prospects that the county party has not reported their filings online or to the Secretary of State. We have seen far less information about filed candidates at the local level this year than in previous years. Only a handful of local parties are posting candidate lists, and the Republican Party of Texas is the only state party posting lists of filings (as far as we can tell).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

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Jeff Blaylock

Jeff Blaylock

Publisher

Jeff is a political junkie, longtime public policy wonk and former Texas Legislature staffer who has worked political campaigns in Texas and several other states, ranging from school boards to legislators to governors to referenda. He is a public and government affairs consultant based in Austin, Texas, who offers his keen insights about Lone Star State politics as Texas Election Source.

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