Texas Election Source

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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 and the Texas Legislature. 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

CD6 Candidates Raise $2.6M as Early Voting Begins

Early voting has begun for the May 1 general and special elections and continues through April 27. Because this is not a statewide election, counties are not required to submit early voting totals to the state (except for CD6), and not all local elections are conducted by county election officials. Therefore, tracking early voting turnout can be challenging.

That said, Bexar Co. set a first-day voter turnout record for a May election. Just over 7K voters cast ballots in local elections there, edging past the previous record set in 2017 and running about 500 voters ahead of the first day in 2019. Just under 7K people voted in a local election in Tarrant Co., of which 1K voted at the Southlake Town Hall.

In Taylor Co., just 150 people voted early in the Abilene council elections, which was a third of the number who voted on the first day of early voting in 2019, when the mayor’s race was on the ballot.

CD6 special: The 13 candidates filing campaign finance reports as of press time combined to raise $2.6M, led by Rep. Jake Ellzey’s (R-Waxahachie) $504K, since January 1. The combined total exceeds the total amount raised by all candidates for what was then an open-seat race in 2018 ($1.9M). The late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington) and his 2020 Democratic opponent combined to raised $1.5M during the 2020 election cycle.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Poll: Voter Fraud, McConaughey Fever Real to Many

Early voting for the May 1 general and special elections begins tomorrow (Monday) and runs through April 27.

UT-Tyler Poll: Two out of every seven registered voters “believe there is widespread voter fraud in Texas,” while a slim majority believe “there is not,” according to a new Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll (PDF). Nearly twice as many Republicans (39%) believe there is widespread voter fraud than independents (20%) or Democrats (21%), and slightly more Republicans believe there is widespread voter fraud (39%) than don’t (36%). More than half of independents and 70% of Democrats do not believe voter fraud is widespread in Texas.

Three out of five respondents supported “the addition of requirements beyond signature verification of absentee ballots … to increase election integrity,” including 84% of Republicans, 52% of independents and 39% of Democrats. No specific additional requirement was polled. A plurality (41%) supported limiting the hours a county could operate early voting locations, including 58% of Republicans, 33% of independents and 30% of Democrats.

The question gaining more attention is a theoretical horse race. Actor Matthew McConaughey, absent a party label or policy positions on nearly every issue, receives more “support” than Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in a theoretical matchup, 45%-33%. Somewhat surprisingly, 30% of Republicans “would vote for” McConaughey, and the actor leads among independents, 44%-28%. Obviously, not much should be read into these “head-to-head” numbers, but it shows at least some level of willingness for voters who supported Abbott in the past to consider someone else.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Crenshaw Laps Colleagues in Fundraising and Other News for April 15

April quarterly campaign finance reports were due today for federal officeholders and candidates, except those in the CD6 special election. These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made during the first three months of the year. Our federal Crib Sheet has been updated with the latest results. Not all reports were available online as of press time.

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) led the Texas House delegation with $1.9M in contributions, including transfers from authorized committees. He has nearly $2.8M on hand. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) led the delegation with $5.2M on hand, followed by Crenshaw, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar ($1.7M), U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez ($1.3M) and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady ($1.2M), who announced yesterday (Wednesday) that he was not seeking re-election.

Crenshaw raised nearly $1.25M more than the second-highest contribution total: U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher’s (D-Houston) $665K. She was followed by U.S. Reps. Van Taylor ($576K), Tony Gonzales ($557K), Colin Allred ($549K) and Michael McCaul ($436K).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Brady Announces Retirement and Other News for April 14

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) announced he would not seek re-election. Brady, who is serving his 13th term, said that his inability to chair the Ways & Means Committee next session, should Republicans recapture a majority, factored in to his decision. House Republican rules limit the number of terms a member may lead a committee or be its ranking member.

“Our committee leader term limits ensure lawmakers who work hard and effectively have the opportunity to lead, to bring fresh ideas to our committee work,” Brady said in a statement. “In my view, it’s a good thing.”

He is the second member of the Texas delegation to announce his retirement, joining U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), who announced his retirement last month.

Campaign Finance: Federal candidates and officeholders’ April quarterly reports are due tomorrow, except for candidates in the special election for CD6. Instead of quarterly reports, they will file pre-election reports on April 19.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Endorsement and Other Election News for April 13

Early voting for the May 1 general and special elections begins on April 19. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters has released Voters Guides for municipal and other local elections in many areas of Texas.

Correction: In our most recent report, we erroneously identified James Worthen as Chief Justice of the 14th Court of Appeals. He is Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. We regret the error and have corrected the online version of the report.

GOV: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is among the nine Republican governors EMILY’s List is targeting in this election cycle, according to the group.

Appellate Districts: By a party-line vote, the Senate gave preliminary approval today (Tuesday) to legislation that would create a statewide appellate district alongside the existing 14 districts. Senate Bill 1529 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would give the newly formed Texas Court of Appeals exclusive appellate jurisdiction over most civil cases involving the state or challenging the constitutionality of a statute. The five-member panel would be elected statewide with all five positions on the ballot in 2022.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Huffman Pulls CoA Consolidation Bill and Other News for April 11

Early voting for the May 1 general and special elections begins on April 19.

Appellate Districts: Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) has pulled down a bill that would consolidate the current 14 Court of Appeals districts to seven. In a statement, Huffman said there was not enough time left in the legislative session to pass it.

Senate Bill 11 was heard by the Senate Jurisprudence Committee, which Huffman chairs, on April 1. Only two witnesses were in favor: Lee Parsley, the general counsel for Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and James Worthen (R), chief justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. Nearly three dozen witnesses testified or registered against it. The bill advanced by a 3-2, party-line vote.

Two identical companion bills – House Bill 339 by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and House Bill 2613 by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) – have been referred to the House Redistricting Committee.

Arlington: Mayoral candidate Jerry Warden was ruled ineligible by the city secretary over past felony convictions.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Bush Floats Paxton Challenge as Senate Ponders Delaying Primaries

The Senate approved legislation that would move this year’s filing period and next year’s primary and primary runoff elections based on when a redistricting plan becomes law. Senate Bill 1822 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would establish temporary provisions in the Election Code that would be triggered depending on when redistricting plans can be created by the Legislature.

  • The primary would remain on March 1, and the runoff on May 24, if a redistricting plan becomes law on or before November 22, 2021. A truncated filing period would run from November 29 through December 13.
  • The primary would be held on April 5, and the runoff on June 21, if a redistricting plan becomes law between November 23 and on or before January 3. The filing period would run January 10-24.
  • The primary would be held on May 24, and the runoff on July 26, if a redistricting plan becomes law between January 4 and February 14. The filing period would run from February 21 through March 7.

The bill gives the Secretary of State the discretion to set the election dates and filing period for any redistricting plan that becomes law after February 14. For purposes of the bill, a plan becomes law when it is signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) or becomes law without his signature.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 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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