Texas Election Source

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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 and the Texas Legislature. 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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Assistant Director of Legislative Services, Texas Municipal League

Recently Posted News & Analysis

Phelan Sets Fundraising Record and Other News for January 15

Speaker Dade Phelan’s (R-Beaumont) campaign said he raised $4.5M during the second half of 2020 and ended the year with $4.8M on hand. It was the most ever raised by an incoming House Speaker, edging out former Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s $4.1M in contributions between July 1 and December 31, 2018. Former Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) raised $1.1M during the second half of 2003. Former Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) raised just $117K in the six months ending 2008, but it was not clear he would become Speaker until January 2009. In fact, Craddick raised $1.1M during the same period as he sought a fourth term as Speaker.

Together, the “Big 3” raised nearly $21M, a record for the six months entering a session following a presidential election. Four years ago, Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and then-Speaker Joe Straus (R-Angleton) collectively raised $18.2M over the six months leading into the 2017 legislative session.

Three times before, the “Big 3” at those times have raised more – $27.1M before the 2015 session, $25.2M before the 2011 session and $22.2M before the 2003 session – but those all followed gubernatorial election years.

HD68 special: Early voting continues for the January 23 special election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Patrick Sets Fundraising Record and Other News for January 14

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said he “look[s] forward to running for re-election” in 2022 and announced he raised nearly $5M during the second half of 2020. Patrick ended the year with $19.4M on hand, the highest COH figure ever reported for a lieutenant governor. The previous record, also held by Patrick, was $18.1M as of December 31, 2017.

Patrick has raised $43.1M since he was elected to the office in 2014. His total reported contributions, including for his senate campaigns, have eclipsed $63M, which would put him ahead of former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s (R) lifetime contribution total if Dewhurst’s roughly $15M in contributions to himself were excluded.

Campaign Finance: January semiannual campaign finance reports are due tomorrow (Friday) for all state officeholders and candidates – including statewide, legislative and judicial – with active campaign accounts and for local candidates where required.

For candidates who were opposed in the general election, the reports will disclose contributions received and expenditures made between October 25 and December 31. For unopposed candidates and those who were not for election in 2020, the reports cover the period between July 1 and December 31.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Trickle of Voters in HD68 So Far and Other News for January 13

HD68 special: Early voting continues for the January 23 special election to fill the unexpired House term of Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster). About 650 people have voted early in person or by mail through the first two days of early voting. At least one vote has been cast in each of the district’s 22 counties, but fewer than 10 votes each have been cast in half of them.

The five candidates’ 8-day-out reports are due Friday.

GOV: The campaign of Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he raised $11.5M during the second half of 2020 and ended the year with $37.9M on hand. Abbott raised $19.2M during 2020, which is about $1.5M more than during the corresponding period in his last re-election cycle. Abbott has raised $116.5M since he was elected governor six years ago, surpassing the $110.2M raised by former Gov. Rick Perry (R) during his 14 years in office.

Abbott becomes the first Texas state politician to report raising more than $200M for their own campaigns during their political career.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Texans Vote Along Party Lines as House Impeaches Trump a Second Time

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection in connection with last week’s sacking of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Ten Republicans joined all 222 Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time. No Texas Republicans voted to impeach Trump. U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth), who recently tested positive for COVID-19, was one of four Republicans who did not vote. All 13 Democratic House members voted to impeach.

U.S. Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) and Chip Roy (R-Austin) said in a joint statement that they “condemn the President for the words and actions which contributed to these events” but they opposed impeaching Trump, which “serves little purpose” and “charge[s] crimes that are lacking the requisite element of intent.”

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin) similarly “condemn[ed] the president’s rhetoric and his behavior” but impeachment sets a “bad precedent” because he doubted “the Founding Fathers envisioned impeachment taking place in one day.” McCaul’s chief objection appears to be the relatively short timing. Interestingly, he said, “I truly fear there may be more facts that come to light in the future that will put me on the wrong side of this debate.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) yesterday (Tuesday) appointed U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) as an impeachment manager.

Phelan Elected Speaker and Other Election News for January 12

The 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convened at noon today (Tuesday). Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) was the only member nominated for Speaker, and he was elected by a 143-2 vote. Newly elected Reps. Jeff Cason (R-Bedford) and Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) were the nay votes. Cason succeeded former Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) with his endorsement, and Slaton defeated former Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) in the 2020 Republican runoff.

In a Facebook post, Slaton said he could not “vote in favor of a speaker who has refused to articulate to Republicans whether or not he believes we should have a true conservative session.” That is a reference to a December 18 letter Slaton, Cason and Reps. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) and Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) sent to Phelan asking his “intentions regarding giving Democrats power over our Republican priorities prior to your election” as Speaker. All four are clients of political consultant Luke Macias.

The House is expected to adopt its rules for the session on Thursday and then go into recess until January 26.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

Texas Attorney Sued for Defamation Over ‘Demonstrably False’ Election Claims

Note: This report was intended to be published on Friday but a technical glitch, which we just discovered, prevented its publication.

Dominion Voting Systems has sued Texas-licensed attorney Sidney Powell, her firm and an associated fundraising organization for defamation arising from “wild” and “demonstrably false” accusations.

Dominion, its employees and Georgia officials were harmed “as a result of the defamatory falsehoods peddled by Powell – in concert with like-minded allies and media outlets who were determined to promote a false preconceived narrative,” the suit contends.

“There are mountains of direct evidence that conclusively disprove Powell’s vote manipulation claims against Dominion,” the company said it its 124-page suit. “Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages … and to stand up for itself and its employees.”

Dominion’s suit is “baseless & filed to harass, intimidate & to drain our resources as we seek the truth,” Powell tweeted to her 1.2M followers a few hours before her account was suspended by the social network. “We will not be cowed in exercising our 1st Amendment rights or seeking truth.”

Powell is the lead attorney behind the so-called “kraken” lawsuits that have failed everywhere they have been filed.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 Texas Election Source LLC

Election News for the Eve of the Legislative Session

The 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convenes tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon.

HD68 special: Early voting began today (Monday) for the January 23 special election to fill the unexpired House term of Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster).

Redistricting: A Dept. of Justice attorney told U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh that the first set of 2020 Census data would not be released until March 6 – more than two months after the statutory December 31 deadline. These counts are used to apportion the U.S. House of Representatives among the states. Detailed data used for redistricting are likely also further delayed, increasing chances that redistricting will not be completed by the end of the regular session.

Democratic Caucus: The House Democratic Caucus re-elected Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) as chair.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2021 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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