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SD30 special: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) over salon owner Shelley Luther. Decatur farmer Andy Hopper, who finished sixth in the special election with 4% of the vote, endorsed Luther. He was previously supporting Springer, but changed his mind following Rep. Dade Phelan’s (R-Beaumont) claiming the speakership.

Early voting begins December 9. Through yesterday (Monday), around 2,200 absentee ballots has been returned, 43% of which came from Parker Co. voters.

Harris Co.: The newly created Office of Election Administrator “does not exist” because the county did not inform the Secretary of State’s office soon enough, said Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) in a letter sent to the county attorney. As a result, neither a July order from the Commissioners Court nor the October appointment of Isabel Longoria “holds any legal weight.”

Secs. 31.031 and 31.032, Election Code require counties to inform the Secretary of State about creating an elections administration office within three days and about appointing an administrator within six days. The county took two and three weeks to do so, respectively, according to Paxton, who said that the county must take “corrective action” within 14 days or risk a lawsuit.

The issue was placed on the agenda for today’s (Tuesday’s) Commissioners Court meeting.

Denton: Council member Gerard Hudspeth out-raised council member Keely Briggs, $34K to $9K, and outspent her, $32K to $12K, over the past month. The mayoral runoff election is December 8. More than 5K ballots have been cast in early voting so far.

Grand Prairie: Council member Jim Swafford, 84, passed away today (Tuesday) from Covid-19, one month after his wife Judy passed away from the virus. Swafford has served on the council since 1998.

Harris Co. Republicans: The county executive committee will appoint a new chair on December 14 following Keith Nielsen’s resignation. Current vice chair Kevin Fulton is expected to seek the position. State and area Republicans denounced Nielsen for his social media posts, and he initially indicated he would step aside before taking office. He reversed that decision and led the party through the election in which Democrats swept all countywide offices.

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