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Recently Posted News & Analysis

Redistricting, Rebuking Lang and Other Election News for April 27

Early Voting continues for the May 6 elections in jurisdictions holding them.

Redistricting: At a status conference today (Thursday) in San Antonio, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia said the court would issue an order Monday setting a schedule for further proceedings and “covering several matters that have been raised today.” Plaintiffs are expecting a trial on the 2013 maps to begin by August, which would necessarily mean concurrent paths for any appeals on rulings made against the 2011 maps and the application of those rulings toward the 2013 maps. The three-judge panel has found intentional constitutional and Voting Rights Act violations on maps drawn in 2011 for Congress and the Texas House of Representatives, but those maps were never used. Interim maps were drawn by the court and revised by the Legislature in 2013.

HD60: Freshman Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) is taking heat from a movement conservative group that once celebrated his challenge to former Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland). The reason?

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Early Voting and Election News for April 26

Early Voting continues for the May 6 elections in jurisdictions holding them. Overall, turnout is low, consistent with historical averages, through the first three days of early voting:

  • In Bexar Co., 21,755 people have voted early in person, up 28% from the same period in 2015 and about 30% ahead of 2013.
  • In El Paso Co., turnout is lagging behind 2015.
  • In Harris Co., a total of 6,782 voters have cast ballots early in person or by mail. Turnout is average fewer than 10 voters a day in five polling locations. Turnout is highest at Pasadena City Hall, which has accounted for 28% of all in-person voters so far.
  • In Potter and Randall Cos., turnout for the Amarillo election is ahead of the 2015 pace. A total of 3,504 residents had cast ballots through three days.

Unlike primary and November general elections, uniform election turnout is not collected by the state, so data availability is spotty.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

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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.

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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!

Election News for April 25

Early Voting continues for the May 6 local elections in jurisdictions holding them.

AG: Attorneys representing Attorney General Ken Paxton continue to seek another judge for his criminal securities fraud trial, which was relocated to Harris Co. by District Judge George Gallagher. A letter sent to Harris Co. District Clerk Chris Daniel asked him to assign the case “as it would with any new criminal case.” Criminal trials in Harris Co. are ordinarily assigned randomly to district judges.

CD2: Spring resident James Graf filed paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential challenge to U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Humble) as a Democrat.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Local Election News for April 23

Early Voting: Tomorrow (Monday) is the beginning of the early voting period for the May 6 uniform election in most jurisdictions holding those elections.

Abilene: The Abilene Reporter-News endorsed former two-term council member Robert Briley to succeed Mayor Norm Archibald, who did not seek re-election. The paper endorsed Donna Albus for the open P3 council seat.

Amarillo: The Amarillo Globe News endorsed Ginger Melson to succeed Mayor Paul Harpole, who did not seek re-election. The paper endorsed incumbent council membera Elisha Demerson (P1) and Mark Nair (P4) and open-seat candidates Freda Powell (P2) and Eddy Sauer (P3).

Beaumont: The Beaumont Enterprise endorsed incumbent Mayor Becky Ames, council incumbents W.L. Pate Jr. (AL) and Gethrel Williams-Wright (AL), and challenger Virginia Jordan (W1)

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Election News for San Jacinto Day

Early Voting: Monday is the beginning of the early voting period for the May 6 uniform election in most jurisdictions holding those elections.

CD21: The first of five planned Democratic candidate forums has been set for May 1 in San Marcos. At least eight candidates will participate, including three for which we had not yet been aware of any campaign activity:

  • Ryan Allen, Burnet emergency physician
  • Chad Kissinger, Austin tech entrepreneur; and
  • Mary Wilson, Austin pastor.

The other participating candidates are former Congressional staffer Derrick Crowe, tech entrepreneur Joseph Kopser, affordable housing activist Elliott McFadden, musician Rixi Melton and attorney Chris Perri. A Democratic group called Race to Replace is organizing the series of forums.

At least 10 individuals are actively pursuing a challenge of U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) as Democrats.

CD30: The Dallas Morning News’s Gromer Jeffers Jr. reported that “people close to” Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) expect she will seek re-election. Earlier this week, we noted that Johnson raised just $1K during the first three months of 2017 and has $54K on hand, adding to speculation that she might retire. A pair of fundraisers have been scheduled in Washington for next month.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

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Partner, HillCo Partners

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Assistant Director of Legislative Services, Texas Municipal League

Correction: Redistricting Ruling

In yesterday’s post about the redistricting ruling, we inadvertently left HD117, represented by Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio), and Harris Co. at large off the list of districts found to have defects. We regret the error and apologize for any confusion it caused.

The corrected list appears below, and it has been corrected in the original post.

Districts Found to Have Defects

HD31, represented by Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) – PV
HD32, represented by Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) – VD, PV
HD34, represented by Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi) – VD, PV
HD36, represented by Rep. Sergio Munoz Jr. (D-Edinburg) – PV
HD39, represented by Rep. Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco) – PV
HD40, represented by Rep. Terry Canales (D-Premont) – PV
HD41, represented by Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-Mission) – VD, PV
HD54, represented by Rep. Scott Cosper (R-Killeen) – VD, PV
HD55, represented by Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple) – PV
HD78, represented by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) – VD
HD90, represented by Rep. Ramon Romero Jr. (D-Fort Worth) – VD
HD93, represented by Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) – VD
HD103, represented by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) – VD
HD104, represented by Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas) – VD
HD105, represented by Rep. Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie) – VD
HD117, represented by Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonoo) – RG

Harris Co. at large – VD

PV = one person, one vote | VD = vote dilution | RG = racial gerrymandering

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Redistricting Ruling and Local Endorsements for April 20

Redistricting: The maps drawn in 2011 for the Texas state house districts violate the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act, the three-judge panel presiding over the redistricting lawsuits ruled. Intentional vote dilution, racial gerrymandering and violations of the one-person, one-vote rule produced flawed districts in Bell, Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Lampasas, Nueces and Tarrant Cos. Some of these deficiencies were mooted by the adoption of a court-drawn interim map in 2013.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

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McNutt Seeks Rematch and Other State Election News for April 19

Thomas McNutt

Thomas
McNutt

HD8: Corsicana bakery owner Thomas McNutt intends to seek a rematch against Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), who defeated McNutt by 225 votes in the 2016 Republican primary. Cook out-raised his opponent, $1.0M to $452K, and outspent him, $1.4M to $472M. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans and some of its connected donors accounted for more than half of McNutt’s fundraising during his 2016 challenge.

Since 2002, there have been 35 rematches of primary elections for legislative seats. The loser of the most recent match-up has won 13 of those rematches (37%). Six of those 13 were former legislators seeking to reclaim seats from those who unseated them.

SEN: U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) said he would take a few more weeks before deciding whether to run against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R).

CD3 open: Allen business owner Adam Bell, who lost the 2016 general election to U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Plano), 61%-35%, announced he would again run for the seat again.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Candidate Arrested and Other Local Election News for April 19

Arlington: WFAA-TV reported that a candidate for city council has been arrested for alleged threats against the wife of Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington). Matthew Powers, who is challenging D5 incumbent Lana Wolff, has been charged with misdemeanor harassment.

El Paso: The city council set a June 10 date for a special election to fill the unexpired term of Cortney Niland, who resigned last week but will remain in office until a replacement is elected. The special election coincides with what is expected to be a runoff election for mayor. The filing deadline is May 1.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Express-News endorsed challenger Keith Toney over incumbent Alan Warrick. Toney was appointed to the council to fill Ivy Taylor’s unexpired term when she became mayor but has lost subsequent elections to Warrick.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Poll Gives Hope to Democrats, But …

A new poll from the Texas Lyceum shows a statistical dead heat in the U.S. Senate race, except that “haven’t thought enough about it” is the response of a plurality of registered voters. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) are tied, 30-30, and U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) leads Cruz, 35-31. Democrats also lead the generic ballot test for Congress, 43-34, when the Republican and separate Tea Party candidates are combined.

However, the election is more than 20 months away, and the poll’s sample has a relatively high proportion of self-identified Democrats (32%) and independents (40%) relative to the number of self-identified Republicans (27%). It also has a high proportion of Hispanics/Latinos (38%) relative to the electorate.

Overall, 34% of adults said the country is “moving in the right direction” while 52% said it is “off on the wrong track.” These numbers are noticeably better than the September poll, when 28% of adults thought the country was on the right track and 63% thought the wrong track, except that the partisan balance is reversed.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Quarterly Reports and Other Election News for April 18

Congressional Campaign Finance: Quarterly campaign finance reports were due over the weekend for federal officeholders and certain candidates. Highlights include:

  • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R) report is not currently available. We previously reported that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s principal campaign account ended the quarter with $4.8M on hand. His three PACs combined raised $1.7M during the first three months of the year from nearly 18K people. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-El Paso) report is also not available. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) raised $219K and has $283K on hand. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin), once mentioned as a potential primary challenger, raised $222K and has $149K on hand.
  • U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) raised $88K and has $51K on hand, the smallest cash-on-hand figure of any incumbent from Texas.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report,

Election News for April 13

Note: This will be our last update before the Easter weekend. Updates will resume next week.

AG: District Judge George Gallagher’s spokeswoman said he “anticipates remaining the judge” to preside over the case. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal team asked that a new judge be assigned to the case after Gallagher announced he would move the trial to Harris Co. from Collin Co.

SD16: Yesterday, we reported a Nathan Johnson had filed a campaign treasurer appointment for a potential race in HD16. Information provided by a longtime subscriber indicates he may be a Dallas attorney eying SD16, which is held by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas). If so, he would likely run as a Democrat.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

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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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Dates of Interest

  1. Early Voting Ends

    May 2
  2. Uniform Election Day

    May 6 @ 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  3. Judicial Moratorium Ends

    May 15
  4. Legislature Adjourns

    May 29
  5. State Moratorium Ends

    June 19

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