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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

Endorsement and Candidate News for November 11

Filing for the 2020 election is underway. Our Crib Sheets have up-to-date filing status of the candidates we are tracking. At least 119 candidates have already filed.

HD1: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) for re-election.

HD26: Two-time statewide Democratic nominee Mike Collier endorsed Rish Oberoi for the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land).

HD63: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) for re-election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Filing Has Begun and Other News for November 10

Filing for the 2020 election is underway. We typically do not list candidates who have filed in these reports unless we have not previously mentioned him or her. Our Crib Sheets have up-to-date filing status of the candidates we are tracking. At least 96 candidates have already filed.

SD11: Pearland resident Margarita Ruiz Johnson filed to challenge Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) as a Democrat. She unsuccessfully sought the 2018 Democratic nomination for CD22 (13%).

SD12: Lewisville remodeling company owner Gary Brown re-authorized his campaign committee for a potential challenge of Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound). Brown unsuccessfully ran for open HD65 in 2012, losing to Ron Simmons, 59%-39%.

HD30: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) for re-election.

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.


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!

Filing Period Set to Open for 2020 Candidates

Filing for the 2020 election begins tomorrow (Saturday). In Texas, candidates for county, state and federal elective office are nominated for the general election by their respective political parties unless they are running as an independent or write-in candidate. The Democratic and Republican Parties nominate their general election candidates with primary elections. The Libertarian and Green Parties – and any new parties that may organize in time for this election – nominate their general election candidates with conventions.

Candidates seeking the Democratic or Republican nomination must file their applications by December 9. They will file with their county party organization if they are seeking county offices or if the state or federal district they are seeking lies entirely within one county. If their desired district lies in more than one county, then they file with the state party organization. These deadlines also apply to Libertarian and Green Party candidates, and they also apply for candidates seeking the nomination of a party that does not have ballot access. A new law (House Bill 2504) requires minor party candidates to pay a filing fee or collect a minimum number of signatures. This law is currently being challenged in court. That same law adjusted the thresholds for obtaining ballot access, which had the effect of restoring automatic ballot access to the Green Party.

Our Crib Sheets will show identify those candidates whose filing has been reported by an official party website or report or by the Secretary of State’s candidate listing report.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Nevárez Announces Retirement and Other News for November 8

Rep. Poncho Nevárez (D-Eagle Pass) announced he would not seek re-election. “We talk about how important family and health is in all this, and as such my family needs me and I need them,” Nevárez said in a statement. “It is time to come home.”

Rep. Poncho Nevárez

Rep. Poncho Nevárez

HD74, which sprawls across 12 West Texas counties, is a likely Democratic district headed into 2020 but Republicans have made inroads. The district’s 12 counties collectively were 9 points bluer than the state as a whole in 2018, down from 20 points bluer in 2002 and 19 points bluer in 2010. Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) carried the district over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), 56%-43%, in 2018, two years after Hillary Clinton won the district over Donald Trump, 56%-39%.

Nevárez has not had a Republican opponent since 2012, when he defeated T.C. Kincaid Jr., 60%-40%. As far as we can tell, no other candidates had made announcements or taken any formal steps toward challening Nevárez in 2020.

He becomes the 10th representative (5 D, 5 R) serving during the 86th Legislature to announce their resignation, retirement or plans to seek another office.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Candidate and Endorsement News for November 7

Filing for the 2020 election begins on Saturday.

HD24: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) for re-election.

HD147: Houston resident Colin Ross established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston). 84274

CD13 open: Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley (R) announced he has decided against running for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

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Partner, HillCo Partners

Texas Election Source is my go-to resource for all election returns. Jeff’s experience in the legislative process and his knowledge of candidates make his analyses invaluable to legislative professionals as well as outside observers.

Monty Wynn

Assistant Director of Legislative Services, Texas Municipal League

Candidate News for the Day After Election Day

Filing for the 2020 election begins on Saturday.

HD28 special: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) congratulated Gary Gates for making the runoff and tweeted that he would “ask the voters of Fort Bend County to send” Gates to Austin “to fight alongside me.”

HD105: Irving photographer Bret Bolton established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Terry Meza (D-Irving) as a Libertarian.

HD119 open: Former San Antonio council member and Alamo Community Colleges board member Jennifer Ramos officially kicked off her campaign to succeed Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who is challenging Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton).

HD148 special: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) congratulated Luis LaRotta for making the runoff.

CD23 open: San Antonio attorney Sharon Breckenridge Thomas established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) as a Republican. Thomas was appointed to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in 2017.

CD30: Dallas media company executive Hasani Burton established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas).

El Paso: The special runoff election for council D3 will be December 14. Former council member Cassandra Hernandez, who is trying to reclaim her seat following her automatic resignation, faces realtor Will Veliz.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Harris Co. Results Go Final

Note: We changed the headline of this post since our Breaking News alert because there were some changes in the runoff lineup depending on when one last looked at results last night. We have also updated the Prop 10 paragraph and statewide turnout paragraph.

Constitutional Amendments: Nine of the 10 propositions passed. Voters rejected Prop 1, permitting a person to hold more than office as a municipal judge, 65%-35%. With no known significant opposition to this proposition, it appears voters simply did not approve of the concept of a public official holding multiple offices. It was the first constitutional amendment voted down by the voters since 2011.

Prop 10, allowing the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker, appears to have just missed becoming the most popular change to the Texas Constitution in state history. It received 93.75% of the vote, less than a tenth of a point behind 1997’s proposal to increase the residential homestead exemption (93.83%). There appear to be some numbers yet to be reported to the state, so this result could still shift and history could still be made.

Unofficial statewide turnout was 12.3%, which is the highest odd-year general election turnout since 2005 (18%) and the second highest since 1993 (12.6%).

HD28 special: As we reported overnight, Democrat Eliz Markowitz (39%) will face Republican Gary Gates (28%) in the runoff. Markowitz finished in first but underperformed the 2018 Democratic nominee in the district by 6 points. Collectively, the Republican candidates received 61% of the vote. Turnout has not yet been reported.

HD100 special: As we reported overnight, Democrat Lorraine Birabil (33%) will face Democrat James Armstrong III (21%), barring any changes from provisional votes, uncounted overseas ballots and a recount. Armstrong trailed Daniel Clayton most of the night but finished 5 votes ahead when all votes were counted. Turnout was 7.9%.

HD148 special: Democrat Anna Eastman (20%) and Republican Luis La Rotta (16%) advanced out of the 15-person field to make the runoff. Democrat Adrian Garcia, who is of no relation to former Sheriff and current Harris Co. Comm. Adrian Garcia (D), came in third at 12%, followed by Republican Ryan McConnico (11%), Democrat Michele Leal (9%) and Democrat Penny Morales Shaw (8%). Overall, Democratic candidates received 69% of the vote. Turnout was 24%.

Houston: Twelve city council races and the mayoral race are headed to runoffs. Four council incumbents – Martha Castex-Tatum (Robert Gallegos (Dist. I), Dave Martin (Dist. E) and Greg Travis (Dist. G) – and City Controller Chris Brown won re-election outright. Mayor Sylvester Turner (47%) will face Tony Buzbee (28%). Turner’s 2015 runoff opponent, Bill King, was a distant third with 14% followed by council member Dwight Boykins (6%). Turnout citywide was 22%.

The council seat runoffs:

  • A: Amy Peck (45%) and George Zoes (17%)
  • B: Tarsha Jackson (21%) and Cynthia Bailey (14%)
  • C: Abbie Kamin (32%) and Shelley Kennedy (15%)
  • D: Carolyn Evans-Shabazz (17%) and Brad “Scarface” Jordan (15%)
  • F: Tiffany Thomas (39%) and Van Huynh (23%)
  • H: Incumbent Karla Cisneros (38%) and Isabel Longoria (27%)
  • J: Edward Pollard (30%) and Sandra Rodriguez (30%)
  • At Large 1: Incumbent Mike Knox (36%) and Raj Salhotra (22%)
  • At Large 2: Incumbent David Robinson (38%) and Willie Davis (27%)
  • At Large 3: Incumbent Michael Kubosh (48%) and Janaeya Carmouche (22%)
  • At Large 4: Anthony Dolcefino (21%) and Leticia Plummer (16%)
  • At Large 5: Sallie Alcorn (23%) and Eric Dick (20%).

The December runoff date has not been set by the council.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC 

Runoffs Abound as Voters Approve 9 of 10 Constitutional Amendments

HD28 special: Katy educator Eliz Markowitz, the lone Democrat in the race, came in first with 39% of the vote. She will face Rosenberg real estate investor Gary Gates (28%), who is making his third bid for the seat. Katy attorney Tricia Krenek (18%) came in third, followed by Houston anesthesiologist Anna Allred (9%). The other three Republicans split the remaining 5%.

HD100 special: Lorraine Birabil (D) was a lock for the runoff with 33%, and it appears that James Armstrong III (20.8%) will make the runoff by 5 votes over Daniel Clayton (20.7%). Former Dallas council member Sandra Crenshaw (19.0%) came in fourth. Clayton had a narrow lead over both Armstrong and Crenshaw for most of the night, but Armstrong appears to have advanced.

HD148 special: Democrat Anna Eastman (18%) and Republican Luis La Rotta (17%) led the 15-candidate field when Harris Co. stopped releasing results. They appear headed to the runoff over Republican Ryan McConnico (12%), Democrat Adrian Garcia (12%), Democrat Michele Leal (9%) and Democrat Penny Morales Shaw (8%).

Constitutional Amendments: Nine of the 10 constitutional amendments passed, as voters rejected one for the first time since 2011. Prop 1, a proposal to permit municipal judges to hold more than one office at a time, failed. Prop 10, regarding retired law enforcement dogs, was poised to become the single most popular change to the Texas Constitution in state history with 94% voting in favor.

Houston: As of 2 a.m. CST, the Harris Co. Clerk’s Office indicated there would be no new results until the morning. The following results include all early votes and 23% of vote centers’ Election Day results.

Mayor Sylvester Turner could not win the race outright. He has 47% of the vote and will face Tony Buzbee (30%) in the runoff. Turner’s 2015 runoff opponent Bill King is third with 14%, followed by council member Dwight Boykins (6%).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source

Election Day Eve News Exactly One Year Before the 2020 Election

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Election Day across the state. For those who have not yet voted, the League of Women Voters has created a Constitutional Amendment Election Voters Guide which explains each amendment, provides arguments for and against each and a short video about each. For communities with a local League, the www.VOTE411.org website gives voters the opportunity to view local races and create a personalized ballot they can print to take to the polls.

We will have live results and analysis beginning at 7 p.m. CST at https://txelects.com/live/ and continuing through the evening. We’ll be focusing on:

  • 10 constitutional amendments
  • HD28, HD100 and HD148 special elections
  • Houston mayoral and council elections
  • Mayoral races in Bryan, College Station, Mesquite, Midland and Weslaco; and
  • El Paso council special election

We will also report on other local races through the evening. If there is a particular race of interest to you, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected].

Voters have rejected only five constitutional amendments in odd-numbered years since 2001 while approving 107 others (96% success rate). Since 1979, voters have approved 258 constitutional amendments and rejected 38 (87% success rate). Voters last voted down a constitutional amendment in 2011, when three were rejected.

Meanwhile, the 2020 general election is exactly one year away. Filing for offices on that ballot begins Saturday.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

Gutierrez Announces Senate Bid and Other News for November 3

Tuesday is Election Day. Texas voters will decide the fates of 10 constitutional amendments, elect three new state representatives (or at least narrow the fields to two candidates per seat), elect local officials and settle other propositions and special elections. We’ll have live coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CST.

About 800K Texans voted early statewide, accounting for 5% of registered voters. Roughly one out of every five early votes was cast in Harris Co., where early turnout was 6.5%. Turnout in Dallas Co. was just south of 3%. Early turnout exceeded 10% in 19 of the state’s 254 counties, peaking at 28% in Deaf Smith Co., where voters are considering a $36M bond package for a new sheriff’s office and jail. Reported turnout was less than 1% in six counties. The lowest reported early turnout was in Starr Co., where 0.3% of registered voters have cast ballots.

Early voting turnout in HD28 appears to be around 12% and around 10% in HD148. We do not have an estimate for HD100.

SD19: As expected, Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) will challenge Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton), who is seeking a full term.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

O’Rourke Exits Presidential Race and Other News for November 1

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) has dropped out of the presidential race. “This campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.” He pledged support for the eventual Democratic nominee.

Beto O'Rourke


O’Rourke was on the brink of not qualifying for the next Democratic debate, which will be held November 20. Qualifiers must have at least 600 individual donors each from at least 20 states – O’Rourke has met that threshold. – and get at least 3% of the vote in four sponsored national polls, or at least 5% in two early-state polls by November 13. O’Rourke was at 3% in just two.

O’Rourke said he has no plans to seek another elective office.

Meanwhile, former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, who has not crossed met that 3% threshold in any qualifying poll, reached his goal of raising $800K raised by October 31 to remain in the race. He tweeted that he raised more than $1M during the month.

Early voting has ended for the November 5 constitutional amendment, general and special elections. Through yesterday (October 31), turnout was just south of 4% statewide. Through yesterday, turnout in HD28 was approximately 8.5% and turnout in HD148 was approximately 7.7%. Turnout across Harris Co. was just over 5%, while turnout in all of Dallas Co. was 2.3%.

HD25 open: Brazoria Co. Tax Assessor-Collector Ro’Vin Garrett announced she would run for the seat being vacated by Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) as a Republican. Garrett was first elected to her post in 2000 and has been re-elected four times.

CD22 open: Stafford chemical engineer Dan Mathews established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) as a Republican.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

UT/TT Poll: Texans Remain Evenly Split Over Trump

As they have been for some time, Texas registered voters are fairly evenly split when it comes to President Trump’s job approval (47/48), according to a new Univ. of Texas/Texas Tribune poll (PDF), and that fairly even split extends into other areas of his presidency. Specifically, Texas registered voters narrowly think “Congress is justified in conducting impeachment investigations” (46/42) and are practically split down the middle as to whether Trump “has taken actions while president that justify his removal from office” (43/44).

Partisan voters are strongly aligned with their party’s view on the Trump presidency. More than three out of four Republicans feel impeachment proceedings are unjustified, and nearly four out of five Republicans feel Trump’s actions do not merit his removal from office. Meanwhile, 84% of Democrats find justification to the impeachment proceedings, and nearly four out of five Democrats believe Trump’s actions merit removal from office. Independents lean toward the Democrats’ views. By a 46/32 margin, independents feel the impeachment proceedings are justified but it’s an even 34/33 split as to whether they feel the President’s conduct should subject him to removal from office.

A narrow plurality of registered voters disapproves of how Trump has responded to impeachment (39/45) with the partisan splits similar to other matters involving Trump: Republicans (69/13), Democrats (9/80) and independents (33/43). In all cases, registered voters who identify as independents were more likely to be neutral or have no opinion.

Voters were evenly split on the generic congressional ballot with 43% saying they would vote for a Democratic candidate and 43% saying they would vote Republican. One out of 10 voters said they hadn’t thought enough about it to have an opinion.

Facing re-election next year, Sen. John Cornyn’s (R) job performance rating was split nearly in thirds, with 35% approving, 34% disapproving and 31% not knowing or having no opinion. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s rating was 46/39.

State leaders enjoy considerably stronger support. Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) job performance rating is 52/28, and it has been fairly steady for more than a year. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) rating is 39/32, a bit of a decline from a year ago (44/31) but otherwise fairly steady. House Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s (R-Angleton) approval rating was 20/25. Half of registered votrs said they had heard “nothing at all” about “the controversy involving the House Speaker.”

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC

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Jeff Blaylock

Jeff Blaylock


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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