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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

Lawsuits, Dual Filings and Other Election News for December 17

The filing deadline for a spot on the 2018 primary ballot has passed, but the candidate rosters are not yet finalized. The parties have until Tuesday to submit their final certified candidate lists to the Secretary of State.

CD27: The Republican Party of Texas has filed suit in federal court to have U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R-Corpus Christi) name removed from the Republican primary ballot. Farenthold announced he would withdraw from the race, and subsequently filed paperwork withdrawing as a candidate, after the statutory deadline to be removed from the ballot. The suit claims the requirement to keep him on the ballot violates the party’s First Amendment rights to free speech and free association.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Lessons from Alabama’s Special Election

Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore, 50%-48%, in last week’s special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, one of the reddest states in the country. He is the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama since 1992 (That Democrat, Richard Shelby, switched parties two years later and has been re-elected as a Republican four times since.). Texans last elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 1988.

A little over 1.34M people voted in this week’s special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, which translated into 40.5% turnout of registered voters. That’s roughly the number of votes cast in Harris Co. in the 2016 general election, when turnout was 61%.

Jones’s win was the latest in a series of mostly Democratic gains in special and regular elections since Donald Trump was elected president. However, this election was likely less a referendum on Trump, or an indicator of a national trend, than a rejection of a profoundly flawed Republican candidate.

That said, there are five implications for Texas from this race.

Subscribers can read the rest of this analysis.

©2017 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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Real-time Election Returns & Analysis

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!

Candidate and Judicial Nomination News for December 14

The filing deadline for a spot on the 2018 primary ballot has passed, but the candidate rosters are not yet finalized. The parties have until December 19 to submit their final certified candidate lists to the Secretary of State. Please see our Crib Sheets for candidates’ status.

Additional Filings Reported: The candidates listed below filed by Monday’s deadline, but those filings were not reported by the local or state parties until today:

  • HD95: Fort Worth consultant Stephen West (R) filed against Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth).
  • CD3 open: Dallas actuary Alex Donkervoet (R), creating a three-way primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Plano) with Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) and Richardson university professor David Niederkorn.
  • CD29 open: Pasadena investor Jaimy Blanco and Houston journalist (and former Miss Venezuela) Carmen Maria Montiel filed in the Republican primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston), creating a four-person race for the Republican nomination.

Green Party: Losing automatic access to the ballot had a dramatic effect on the Green Party’s success in candidate recruitment. According to its web site, the party has just four candidates.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

CD27: Farenthold Abandons Re-election Bid

Facing a flurry of allegations of sexual harassment and abusive behavior, the specter of an ethics investigation and a field of primary challengers, four-term U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) announced he would not seek re-election.

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold

In a video posted to his campaign’s Facebook page, Farenthold said he was “profoundly sorry” for how me managed his congressional office. “I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional,” Farenthold said. “I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts and too often a failure to treat people with the respect they deserved. That was wrong.”

Farenthold’s decision comes one day after a colleague, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin), endorsed one of Farenthold’s primary opponents.

Despite his withdrawal, Farenthold’s name will remain on the Republican primary ballot. Under state law, a candidate not wishing to appear on the primary ballot had to withdraw by Tuesday.

He becomes the eighth member of the 36-seat delegation to announce plans to retire or seek another office. Texas will have at least eight freshman members of the House for the second time this decade. One more retirement or electoral defeat will tie the all-time record of nine freshmen members of the Texas delegation set in 1897 and 1979.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Willett Confirmed and Campaign News for December 13

The filing deadline for a spot on the 2018 primary ballot has passed, but the candidate rosters are not yet finalized. The parties have until December 19 to submit their final certified candidate lists to the Secretary of State. Please see our Crib Sheets for the latest information about primary races.

Correction: We inadvertently left Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger) off yesterday’s list of incumbents with primary opponents.

Justice Don Willett

Justice Don Willett

SC2: The U.S. Senate confirmed Justice Don Willett’s nomination to the Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals on a 50-47 vote. Willett did not file for re-election. Jimmy Blacklock, Gov. Greg Abbott’s announced choice to succeed Willett, was the only Republican to file for the seat as far as we can tell. A vote to confirm former Solicitor General Jim Ho to the Fifth Circuit is expected later this week.

HD140: Houston attorney Matthew Mendez was declared ineligible by the Harris Co. Democratic Party because the permanent address provided on his application lies outside the district. He had filed to challenge Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston) in the primary. Walle now has no known opponent.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

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Day After Filing Deadline News, Updates and Corrections

The filing deadline for a spot on the 2018 primary ballot has passed, but the candidate rosters are not yet finalized. The parties have until December 19 to submit their final certified candidate lists to the Secretary of State.

Corrections

We corrected three mistakes in our Crib Sheets:

  • HD36: We had shown Abraham Padron as having filed in the HD36 Democratic primary, but we have since been unable to confirm that information. We have changed his status to “not filed” pending the finalization of candidate rosters by the Hidalgo Co. and state Democratic Parties. This change also means that Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr. (D-Palmview) has been moved off the list of incumbents with primary opponents.
  • HD126: We accidentally had Kevin Fulton listed under HD125 in our Crib Sheets. He is running for HD126.
  • CD6 open: A typo resulted in Thomas Dillingham being inadvertently left out of the group of the Republican candidates in the race.

We apologize for the errors.

Withdrawals

Today was the deadline for a candidate who filed in a primary to withdraw. As with the filing deadline, we may not know every candidate who withdrew until next week. Two significant withdrawals were reported today:

  • HD4 open: Marty Reid (R), leaving a three- or four-person primary depending on which race the twice filed Earl Brunner chooses
  • ED12 open: Linda Parsel (D), leaving a three-person primary for the seat being vacated by board member Tincy Miller (R-Dallas).

From this point on, even if a candidate dies or withdraws, his or her name will remain on the primary ballot, pursuant to Section 172.057, Election Code.

Additional Filings Reported

The candidates listed below filed by Monday’s deadline, but those filings were not reported by the local or state parties until today.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Last-minute Entrants, and an Exit, to Statewide and SBOE Races

The deadline to file for a place on the 2018 ballot has passed. Attorney General Ken Paxton and Comptroller Glenn Hegar appear to have no primary challengers. Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey filed today, but Supreme Court Justice Don Willett did not, as his U.S. Senate confirmation process has passed a critical step. The other retiree is State Board of Education member Erika Beltran (D-Dallas), who did not appear to file for re-election.

The following statewide elected officials and State Board of Education members have confirmed filed primary opponents:

  • Greg Abbott faces Larry SECEDE Kilgore and Barbara Krueger
  • Gov. Dan Patrick faces Rockwall public relations executive Scott Milder
  • Land Comm. George P. Bush faces former Land Comm. Jerry Patterson, Alvord surveyor Davey Edwards and Garland self-described Alamo historian Rick Range
  • Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller faces Austin attorney and lobbyist Trey Blocker and an individual named Jim Hogan
  • Railroad Comm. Christi Craddick faces San Antonio media strategist Weston Martinez
  • Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller faces longtime Court of Appeals Justice David Bridges; and
  • SBOE members Lawrence Allen Jr., Ruben Cortez Jr., Pat Hardy and Marisa Perez-Diaz.

Additional primary opponents may emerge, but it is highly unlikely because these offices’ candidates must file with the state parties, and they have seemingly reported all such filings.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report, which includes filings and news regarding GOV, LTGOV, LAND, AGRIC, RRC, ED2, ED4, ED11 and ED13.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Many File for Legislature on Deadline Day

The deadline to file for a place on the 2018 ballot has passed. Please see our Crib Sheets for candidates’ filing status. Reps. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) filed this afternoon, former Rep. John Lujan (R-San Antonio) filed for another rematch with Rep. Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio), and Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) drew two primary opponents at the deadline.

The following legislative incumbents have confirmed filed primary opponents:

Subscribers can see the lists and read about 20 challengers who filed today and one who opted not to run. Races covered include SD14, SD15, HD4, HD13, HD34, HD41, HD60, HD83, HD100, HD109, HD118, HD132, HD134, HD135, HD146, HD148 and HD150.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Flurry of Congressional Candidates File at Deadline

Former Rep. Norma Chavez Seeking O’Rourke’s Open Seat

Today was the deadline for federal candidates to file for a spot on the March primary ballot. The following congressional incumbents have filed primary opponents:

  • Republicans – Michael Burgess, John Carter, Mike Conaway, Ted Cruz (4), John Culberson, Blake Farenthold (6), Louie Gohmert (2), Will Hurd, Kenny Marchant, Michael McCaul, Pete Olson (3), John Ratcliffe, Pete Sessions and Randy Weber (2)
  • Democrats – Eddie Bernice Johnson (2), Sheila Jackson Lee and Marc Veasey

Additional primary opponents may emerge as county and state parties prepare and certify their lists of candidates. See our Crib Sheets for the latest status on candidate filings.

CD4: Sherman minister Lander Bethel filed in the Democratic primary to challenge U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Rockwall).

CD6 open: North Richland Hills tech consultant Thomas Dillingham filed in the Republican primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis). Dillingham previously announced he would challenge U.S. Rep. Ted Cruz in the primary. The Republican Party of Texas web site currently shows Dillingham running for HD6, but we believe that is a typo.

CD7: An individual named Edward Ziegler filed to challenge U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston) in the Republican primary. We were unable to identify him conclusively. Ivan Sanchez, an aide to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), filed in the Democratic primary, joining at least six other candidates.

CD10: Austin residents Matt Harris and Kevin Nelson filed in the Democratic primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin). We were unable to identify them conclusively.

CD14: Nederland resident Keith Casey filed to challenge U.S. Rep. Randy Weber in the Republican primary.

Norma Chavez

Norma
Chavez

CD16 open: Former Rep. Norma Chavez (D-El Paso) filed in the Democratic primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso). Chavez represented HD76 from 1997 to 2011. She lost the 2010 Democratic primary runoff to Naomi Gonzalez, 53%-47%. In 2014, she ran to reclaim the seat, ousting Gonzalez, but losing to current Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) in the runoff, 68%-32%.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report, which includes news from CD21, CD22, CD23, CD24, CD27, CD29 and CD33.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Candidate Updates with Three Hours Remaining in Filing Period

The deadline to file for a place on the 2018 ballot is 6 p.m. local time today. Please see our Crib Sheets for candidates’ filing status. As far as we can tell, Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey (R); Reps. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin); and State Board of Education member Erika Beltran (D-Dallas) have not yet filed for re-election. They may have already filed, but we have received any confirmation from the candidates or the parties.

GOV: Austin resident James Jolly Clark filed in the crowded Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott (R). He is at least the ninth Democrat to file for the race.

HD28: Katy software developer Durward White established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond), likely as a Democrat.

HD54: Killeen real estate agent Kathy Richerson filed in the Democratic primary to challenge Rep. Scott Cosper (R-Killeen).

Spencer Bounds

Spencer
Bounds

Rep. Tom Craddick

Rep. Tom
Craddick

HD82: Midland Democratic activist Spencer Bounds filed to challenge Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland) in the general election, becoming the first Democrat to seek the seat since 2008. His entry sets up one of the biggest age disparities between candidates. Bounds is one of the leaders of the Concho Valley Young Democrats. Craddick is the Dean of the House.

HD86: Amarillo retiree and State Democratic Executive Committee member Mike Purcell announced he would challenge Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo). Purcell is the first Democrat to seek the seat since 2008 and only the second Democrat to run since 1992.

HD109 open: Dallas business owner Victoria Walton filed in the Democratic primary for the seat being vacated by Rep. Helen Giddings (D-DeSoto).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Filing Deadline Looms for 2018 Primary Candidates

The deadline to file for a place on the 2018 continues is 6 p.m. local time tomorrow. Please see our Crib Sheets for candidates’ filing status.

As far as we can tell, only four incumbents have not yet filed for re-election: Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey (R); Reps. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin); and State Board of Education member Erika Beltran (D-Dallas). They may have already filed, but we have received any confirmation from the candidates or the parties.

Even after tomorrow’s deadline, it will be at least a week before candidate lists are finalized.

There are 37 federal offices, 13 statewide offices, 15 Senate seats, 150 House seats and 7 Board of Education seats on the ballot in 2018. So far, at least 192 candidates have filed for the federal offices and 430 have filed for these state offices. We are tracking an additional 79 federal candidates and 105 state candidates who have established campaign committees or announced their intention to run but not yet filed. History suggests dozens of new candidates will emerge at the deadline.

With one day – historically the most active day of filing – to go, we already know that Democratic filing activity, at least for the offices we track, is at or above recent historical levels.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Cain Challenger Withdraws and Other Election News for December 9

Filing for a place on the 2018 continues until 6 p.m. local time on Monday. About two thirds of all federal, statewide, legislative and Board of Education seats on the 2018 ballot are being contested by candidates of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, the highest such figure in at least 25 years and likely at or near historic levels.

As far as we can tell, four incumbents have not yet filed for re-election: Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey; Reps. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin); and State Board of Education member Erika Beltran (D-Dallas). These incumbents may have already filed and we simply have not seen confirmation.

Terry Sain

Terry
Sain

Rep. Briscoe Cain

Rep. Briscoe Cain

HD128: Challenger Terry Sain announced he was ending his primary challenge against Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park). “For someone who has spent his career, basically, making sure that all the hatches were secure before sailing, I don’t believe my candidacy is sea ready,” Sain said in a statement. “I am sorry to have let so many down.” We previously reported that Sain canceled a fundraiser scheduled for next week. Cain has no other known opponent. Former Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown), who Cain defeated in the 2016 Republican runoff, reported having $37K on hand as of June 30. Smith was one of the hosts of Sain’s canceled fundraiser.

SD7: Houston paralegal Dave Romero filed in the Democratic primary to challenge Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report. We cover news from SD15, HD10, HD14, HD30, HD37, HD103, HD109, HD128, HD129, CD5 and CD21.

©2017 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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  1. Voter Registration Deadline

    February 5, 2018

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