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Recently Posted News & Analysis

Murphy Announces Retirement as Senate Tees Up Redistricting

Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston), the House Republican Caucus chair, announced he would not seek re-election, saying he is “looking forward to life’s next great opportunity.”

Murphy becomes the 13th House member elected to the 87th Legislature who will not be returning. Reps. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and James White (R-Hillister) are seeking other offices. Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) is exploring a run for mayor. Reps. Ben Leman (R-Iola), Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) and John Turner (D-Dallas) are retiring. Former Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie) is now in Congress, and former Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) resigned.

So far, two senators are also not returning: Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) is running for Land Commissioner, and Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is retiring.

HD10 special: With one day to go in an abbreviated early voting period, a total of nearly 5K people have cast ballots in Ellis Co., and the number of voters has climbed each day. Just over 5,500 people – 4.5% of registered voters – cast ballots in person or by mail during the five-day early voting period for the special election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Israel, Paddie Decide Not to Seek Re-election

Reps. Celia Israel (D-Austin) and Chris Paddie (R-Marsahll) announced they would not seek re-election to the House.

“After four legislative sessions and all the special sessions that came with them, I am ready for a new challenge,” Israel said in a statement announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for a potential run to succeed term-limited Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

“The timing is right to spend more time with my family and allow my East Texas colleagues to spend time fighting for our values instead of having to make some of the tough choices required in the redistricting process,” Paddie said in a statement. Just a month ago, Paddie announced he would seek re-election.

As it is currently configured, HD9 includes six counties along the Texas-Louisiana border, running from Cass Co. to Sabine Co. Those counties are collectively about 30K short of the new ideal population of 194K.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Harrison, Lujan Lead Rivals in Special Election Fundraising

Early voting continues through Friday for the HD10 special runoff and HD118 special elections. In Ellis Co., just over 1K people voted early in HD10 today (Tuesday), bringing the two-day total to nearly 2K. In Bexar Co., early turnout in HD118 remains below 1K votes cast.

Candidates’ 8-day-out campaign finance reports were due yesterday (Monday) and available online today.

HD10 special: Former U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services official Brian Harrison (R) narrowly out-raised former Rep. John Wray (R-Waxahachie), $97K to $95K, but was outspent by the former legislator, $147K to $24K. Harrison holds an $81K to $61K advantage in cash on hand with one week to go before the election.

Harrison’s biggest contributors for the period were Texas Right to Life PAC ($20K), Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) ($10K), Ovilla retiree Ed Harrison ($7K), Austin retiree Stacy Hock ($5K) and Austin tech executive Joe Lonsdale ($5K).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Redistricting Session, Special Election Early Voting Begin

The Third Called Session of the 87th Texas Legislature convened today (Monday). The Senate Special Redistricting Committee will consider Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), which would draw new Senate districts, and Senate Bill 7 by Huffman, which would draw new State Board of Education districts, in hearings on Friday and Saturday.

Early Voting: An abbreviated early voting period is underway for the HD10 special runoff and HD118 special elections. Election Day is September 28.

In Ellis Co., 855 people voted in person today (Monday) for the HD10 special runoff election. Just under 400 people voted in person today in Bexar Co. for the HD118 special election.

SD24 open: Former Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) announced he would run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), who endorsed Flores to succeed her. Flores won a 2018 special runoff election for SD19 and served the remainder of former Sen. Carlos Uresti’s (D-San Antonio) term. Flores lost his bid for a full term in the 2020 general election, 50%-47%, to then-Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio).

New Poll: A new Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll (pdf) finds Gov. Greg Abbott (R) cruising toward renomination but facing some headwinds in the general election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Redistricting Prepares to Take the Stage

The Third Called Session of the 87th Texas Legislature convenes at noon tomorrow (Monday). Redistricting and a handful of other items are on Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) proclamation (PDF) calling the session.

Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) pre-filed Senate Bill 4, that chamber’s redistricting bill (See the map in DistrictViewer.). Broadly, the bill appears to strengthen several suburban Republican districts, exchanging precincts that have been moving steadily blue-ward for a decade for more reliable red precincts. For example, SD8 trades Democrat-leaning precincts in southwestern Collin Co. and north central Dallas Co. for considerably more Republican Hunt and Rains Cos. That district is currently held by Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney).

One of the most significant impacts of the proposal is to make SD10, which is currently held by Sen. Beverly Powell (D-Burleson), considerably more Republican. In its current form, SD10 is entirely located within Tarrant Co. and includes the north side of Fort Worth. As proposed, SD10 would include much of southern Tarrant Co. and all of reliably Republican Johnson and Parker Cos.

The proposal would pair only two incumbents, one of whom is running for statewide office. Sens. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would be paired. The proposal would pit Campbell against former Austin council member Ellen Troxclair, who has been campaigning for what would be Buckingham’s open seat.

The proposal does not increase the number of Hispanic- or Black-majority districts, and at face value would appear capable of electing 19 Republicans, up one from the current 18-13 split.

Keep in mind that this is an introduced version of the redistricting bill – not the final version.

LTGOV: Grapevine conservative activist and former Texas Eagle Forum president Trayce Bradford established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R).

HD38: Brownsville attorney Erin Gamez re-established her campaign committee for a potential primary rematch against Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville). Lucio defeated her, 54%-46%, in the 2020 Democratic primary.

HD70: Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) announced he would not seek re-election.

“In the midst of changing life seasons and a personal evaluation of priorities, I have made the prayerful decision to not file for re-election,” Sanford said in a statement. “It has been an honor to serve so many wonderful people for almost a decade.”

Prosper accountant Jim Herblin has previously established a campaign committee for the race.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

By the Numbers: Sitting Legislators Running Statewide

0

Number of sitting state representatives to win a statewide race since 1990.

It’s been three decades since a House member last won statewide office. Then Reps. Dan Morales (D-San Antonio) and Rick Perry (R-Haskell) won their races for Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner, respectively. Since then, eight House members (bolded below) have lost races for statewide office.

Reps. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) and James While (R-Hillister) are running for those same offices, respectively.

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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