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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

Campaign News for September 24

HD64: Sanger retired Marine Corps colonel and Republican precinct chair Mark Roy established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger).

CD11: Odessa school bus driver Eric Brandon Pfalzgraf established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) as a Democrat.

SEN: At a Texas Tribune Festival event, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) said he supports U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) for re-election and will seek re-election in 2020.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Election News for September 22

AGRIC: Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans endorsed incumbent Sid Miller.

HD7: Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) announced he would seek re-election.

Lubbock: Mayor Dan Pope announced he would seek re-election. A kickoff event is scheduled for Tuesday.

McAllen: Council member and former Mayor Richard Cortez has scheduled a “special announcement” Tuesday at which he is expected to announce his candidacy for Hidalgo County Judge. Cortez would be required to resign his seat to run. Incumbent Ramon Garcia is not expected to seek re-election.

©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!

Phil King Files for Speaker

Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) filed paperwork establishing his candidacy for Speaker of the House “in order to have an open discussion concerning the future of our Texas House.” The 10-term lawmaker has served as chair or co-chair of a committee under each of the last three Speakers, including being Speaker Joe Straus’s (R-San Antonio) chair of Homeland Security and Public Safety this session.

Rep. Phil King

Rep. Phil
King

Speaker Joe Straus

Speaker Joe Straus

Straus has previously announced he would seek a sixth term as the House’s presiding officer and filed paperwork establishing his candidacy.

Straus was unopposed for his fifth term as Speaker this year. In 2015, he defeated former Rep. Scott Turner (R-Frisco) in a 127-19 record vote. Prior to the vote, 75 Republicans (including King) and 46 Democrats had publicly pledged their support to Straus. Of the 19 who voted for Turner, 14 are still in the House. Two of those 14 – Reps. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) and Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands) – are not seeking re-election. Former Rep. Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman), who is not currently in the House, is running to reclaim the HD4 seat.

Straus has faced opposition leading up to prior sessions but has otherwise not faced a record vote of his colleagues, including when he ousted former Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) in 2009. Eleven Republicans joined the chamber’s Democrats in providing Straus with enough votes to secure the job, and Craddick conceded prior to the convening of the regular session. Of those 11 Republicans, only Straus and Reps. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) and Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) remain in the House.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Re-election Announcements and Endorsements for September 21

RRC: Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans endorsed Chair Christi Craddick.

SD9: Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) announced he would seek re-election in an email blast to supporters.

HD63: Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) announced he would seek re-election.

CD16: Democracy for America, a national progressive group founded by former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, endorsed Veronica Escobar for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso).

CD23: The national Blue Dog Coalition PAC endorsed challenger Jay Hulings.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Candidate Announcements (and a Withdrawal) for September 20

HD98: Keller council member, attorney and gubernatorial appointee Armin Mizani formed a campaign committee and announced he would challenge Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) in the Republican primary. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appointed Mizani as a consumer representative to the Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority board in 2016. Mizani was one of 10 local candidates endorsed by Empower Texans in 2015 to win his or her race.

HD99: Azle real estate agent Michael Stackhouse formed a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth). Social media activity suggests he would run as a Democrat.

HD122: Hollywood Park Mayor and gun store co-owner Chris Fails established a campaign committee and announced he would challenge Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) in the Republican primary. Fails is the vice chair of the Alamo Area Council of Governments and has served as Hollywood Park mayor since 2014. Larson has not faced a primary opponent since his election in 2010.

CD35: Austin resident S.K. Alexander established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) as a Republican.

See our 2018 Challengers page for all 293 challengers and open-seat candidates who we confirm have taken a formal step toward running for state and federal office from Texas in 2018.

Weslaco: Edward Mejia has withdrawn from the D2 council race, leaving just incumbent Greg Kerr and former Rep. and former Mayor Miguel “Mike” Wise (D-Weslaco) contending for the seat. Wise stepped down as mayor in 2013 to make an unsuccessful run for district court judge. He is currently an associated municipal court judge. Wise was first elected to the House in 1996. He lost his 2004 re-election bid to Mando Martinez in Democratic primary.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

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Partner, HillCo Partners

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Assistant Director of Legislative Services, Texas Municipal League

Candidate Announcements for September 19

SD31: Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) announced he would seek re-election. Seliger already has two primary opponents: former Midland mayor and 2014 primary challenger Mike Canon and Amarillo restaurateur Victor Leal.

HD98: Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) announced he woukd seek re-election.

Bexar Co.: District Atty. Nico LaHood announced he would seek re-election. He was first elected in 2014.

Grayson Co.: County Judge Bill Magers announced he would seek re-election. Magers was first elected in 2014 after serving three terms as mayor of Sherman.

Sherman: The filing period has begun for the November 7 special election to fill the remaining unexpired term of former council member Kevin Couch, who is running for open HD62. Former council member Willie Steele was appointed to fill the seat until a successor is elected, and he said he intends to be a special election candidate. The election for the at-large P1 seat will coincide with the general election, during which voters will also vote on new council members for the single-member districts D2 and D4. Neither incumbent is seeking re-election to those seats.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Campaign News for September 18

CCA8: District Judge Dib Waldrip announced he would run as a Republican for the seat being vacated by Judge Elsa Alcala (R). Waldrip was appointed to the 433rd Judicial District (Comal Co.) by former Gov. Rick Perry in 2007 and has been re-elected three times since. He was previously elected Comal Co. District Attorney.

SD10: Former Burleson ISD trustee Beverly Powell kicked off her campaign for the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville). Attendees at her kickoff event included Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington) and U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth). Euless research scientist Allison Campolo is also seeking the Democratic nomination.

HD34: The Texas Tribune reported that former Rep. Gene Seaman (R-Corpus Christi) is considering running for the seat currently held by Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) if it were an open seat race. Herrero has previously announced he would seek re-election.

HD54: Rep. Scott Cosper (R-Killeen) announced he would seek re-election.

See our 2018 Challengers page for all 289 challengers and open-seat candidates who we confirm have taken a formal step toward running for state and federal office from Texas in 2018.

El Paso Co.: Commissioners did not appoint a successor to County Judge Veronica Escobar, who has resigned to run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso), at today’s Commissioners Court meeting. Escobar will continue to serve until a replacement is named. The replacement is expected to serve until the end of 2018.

McLennan Co.: The son of longtime County Comm. Lester Gibson established a campaign committee to run to succeed his father, who is not seeking re-election after 28 years on the Commissioners Court. Travis Gibson has served on the Bellmead council since 2015 and was re-elected in May. Mart law enforcement officer D.L. Wilson and Axtell recent university graduate Gina Ford have also established campaign committees for the race.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

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10 New Candidates Take Steps Toward 2018 Campaigns

GOV: Arlington resident Edward Lee Nash formed a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Gov. Greg Abbott (R). We were unable to determine his occupation and political affiliation definitively.

HD10: Seven Points resident Matt Savino formed a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. John Wray (R-Waxahachie) as a Libertarian.

HD15: The campaign of former Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) released a list of 30 state representatives who have endorsed his campaign, including all members of the House Freedom Caucus.

HD52: Round Rock case manager Cynthia Flores announced she would seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock) as a Republican. Gonzales is expected to endorse her.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Statewide Officials Raise at Least $1.5M During Special Session Reporting Period

Legislators and state officials were required to file legislative special session reports by the end of Thursday if they accepted any contributions between July 10, the date Gov. Abbott called the special session, and August 15, the date the special session ended. No other information is required to be included in the reports.

Statewide elected officials on the ballot in 2018 (including Speaker Joe Straus) accepted at least $1.4M in contributions during the reporting period:

  • Greg Abbott reported nearly $900K in contributions. The report itself was not available online as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
  • Land Comm. George P. Bush reported $159K in contributions, including $25K from former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray.
  • Atty Gen. Ken Paxton reported $151K in contributions, including $25K each from Gatesville retiree Gary Heavin, McAllen Anesthesia Consultants P.A. and Midland oil and gas executive Kyle Stallings.
  • Speaker Joe Straus reported $58K in contributions, all received prior to the convening of the special session, including $25K each from Bellaire energy executive Steve Chazen and the Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC.
  • Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown reported $30K in contributions.
  • Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller reported $29K in contributions.
  • Railroad Commission Chair Christi Craddick reported $22K in contributions.
  • Supreme Court Justice John Devine reported $15K in contributions.
  • Supreme Court Justice Don Willett reported $10K in contributions.
  • Comptroller Glenn Hegar reported a single $50 contribution.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick either did not accept any contributions during the period or his report was not yet available online as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

At least two statewide officials not up for re-election in 2018 also filed special session reports. Railroad Comm. Ryan Sitton reported $134K in contributions, including $25K from Abilene retiree Dian Stai, and Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian reported just over $10K in contributions, including $10K from the AT&T Texas PAC.

Most legislators’ reports that we have seen reported less than $10K. The total amount of contributions received is not required to be reported, so every individual contribution must be added together to arrive a total. All contributions reported during this period will also be included in the officials’ January semiannual reports.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

Felony Charges on Hold for Dukes and Other Campaign News for September 14

Campaign Finance Reports: Legislators and state officials were required to file legislative special session reports by the end of the day. These reports must disclose contributions accepted during the special legislative session, including all in-kind contributions. No other information is required to be included in the reports. We will have highlights of those reports in the coming days.

HD1: Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) announced he would seek re-election.

HD46: Travis Co. District Attorney Margaret Moore has decided not to pursue, for now, felony charges filed against Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin), citing “new, unexpected information pertinent to the case.” Moore told the Austin American-Statesman’s Tony Plohetski that further investigation was needed. Moore intends to go forward with the two misdemeanor charges at a trial scheduled to begin next month. Dukes has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Election News fir September 13

HD4: Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) confirmed he would seek re-election. Gooden has two announced primary challengers: Forney pastor Marty Reid and former Rep. Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman), who has faced Gooden in every Republican primary for the seat since 2012. Gooden won in 2012 and 2016, and Spitzer won in 2014.

HD62: Sherman attorney and Grayson Co. Republican Party chair Reggie Smith announced he would seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), who has endorsed him. We previously reported that Smith had formed a campaign committee.

HD84: Lubbock Democratic Party activist Samantha Fields announced she would challenge Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock). We previously reported that she had established a campaign committee.

HD147: Houston neighborhood advocate and Republican precinct chair Thomas Wang established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston).

CD35: U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) confirmed he would seek re-election.

FEC Nominee: President Trump has nominated Austin attorney and former legislative aide Trey Trainor to fill an unexpired term on the Federal Election Commission. It was not clear from the White House’s announcement whose term Trainor will fill. There is a vacancy on the commission, but it cannot be filled with a Republican. By law, the commission cannot have more than three members from the same political party, and there are currently three Republicans serving on the commission. The appointment requires Senate confirmation.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC

SCOTUS Stays Redistricting Rulings

By a pair of 5-4 votes, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted the state’s requests to stay lower court rulings invalidating two Texas congressional and nine state House districts. The stays are in effect pending appeals to the high court.

A panel of three U.S. district judges were set to proceed with remedial hearings last week, but those were stayed temporarily by Justice Samuel Alito. Those judges previously found that maps adopted by the Legislature in 2011 contained constitutional defects, but those maps were never used. Instead, the Legislature adopted new maps in 2013 based on districts drawn by the judges. In last month’s rulings, the judges found faults with some of those districts.

The high court’s intervention likely means that Texas will conduct its 2018 elections with the maps that have been used since 2014. Election officials have said they needed clarity on district boundaries by October in order to proceed with the 2018 primaries on time. Litigation over the 2011 maps delayed the 2012 primary by more than two months.

Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor would have denied the state’s requests.

©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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