Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has suspended portions of the Election Code to permit local governments to postpone their general elections to November 3 from May 2 and to require county officials to enter into contracts to administer those elections if requested. He encouraged municipalities and other local governments holding elections on May 2 to postpone them.

Current officeholders would continue to serve until successors are elected, and the end of a term of office for any candidate winning a postponed election would be the same as if that person were elected in May (or a June runoff). Candidate filing periods would not be re-opened.

Abbott did not announce any policy decisions about the May 26 primary runoff elections but noted that they are state elections and thus under his authority. He has called a press conference for noon CT tomorrow (Thursday) that may include election administration measures among other steps to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Meanwhile, the League of Women Voters asked Abbott to “act quickly to preserve Texas elections.” In a press release, the group asked Abbott to “strongly promote” ballot-by-mail voting for “any individual 65 or older, and all eligible citizens with disabilities,” which the group said be defined broadly to include individuals most vulnerable to COVID-19. The group also called on expanding the “number of trained poll workers and election judges to cover absences, and therefor prevent closure of polling places” and provide up-to-date polling place location information, including wait times, on the state’s VoteTexas website.

CD2: Elisa Cardnell has withdrawn from the Democratic runoff election. She had previously suspended her campaign. Sima Ladjevardian, who received 48% of the vote in the March primary election, is now the Democratic nominee to challenge U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston), and the Democratic runoff election is canceled for this race.

CD17 open: Four former rivals endorsed former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) in the Republican runoff over Renée Swann: Scott Bland, George Hindman, Todd Kent and Laurie McReynolds. Hindman finished third in the March primary election with 18% of the vote. Bland finished fifth (7%), Kent finished seventh (3%) and McReynolds finished in ninth place (2%) in the 12-candidate field.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC