HD125 special: Through today (Monday), the eighth day of early voting, a total of 1,835 people have voted in person, amounting to around 1.8% of registered voters. Because Bexar Co. does not release ballot-by-mail totals until Election Day, turnout is likely above 2% so far.

HD145 special: U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) formally endorsed Christina Morales in an ad posted to the Morales campaign’s Facebook page.

The Harris Co. Commissioners Court will canvass the results of the January 29 special election on Thursday, after which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will be able to order a special runoff election. Under the expedited election provisions of the Election Code, that runoff must occur between the 12th and 25th days after Abbott orders it.

Secretary of State: The Senate Nominations Committee will consider the nomination of Secretary of State David Whitley among others at its Thursday meeting. His office’s handling of an advisory directing county voter registrars to investigate possible non-citizen registered voters is likely to be a significant topic at that hearing. A third lawsuit has been filed against the Secretary of State alleging discrimination and infringement on voting rights.

Dallas: Environmentalist and asset management executive Steve Smith announced he would run for mayor, becoming at least the 11th candidate to enter the race.

Houston: Mayoral challenger Tony Buzbee had several million dollars’ worth of art and jewelry stolen from his house hours after hosting a Super Bowl party.

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