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Campaign Finance: January semiannual campaign finance reports are due tomorrow (Wednesday) for state officeholders and candidates and, where required, local officials and candidates. We expect these reports will be available online beginning sometime Thursday, and we will begin updating our Crib Sheets and reporting key results through the day. These reports should be filed regardless of whether a candidate or officeholder faces primary opposition.

To the extent possible based on availability of reports and totals, we will proceed with races in this order:

  • Legislative special runoff elections
  • State and legislative incumbents facing primary opponents
  • Non-judicial statewide elected officials
  • Open-seat races for the party holding the seat, and the opposing party’s candidates for seats potentially in play in November
  • All other contested primaries
  • All other incumbents with general election opposition, and
  • Unopposed candidates.

We expect to send two or three “breaking news” alerts during the day and to have most of the new numbers loaded into our Crib Sheets by the end of the day, assuming their availability.

Federal candidates must file their year-end campaign finance reports by January 31. The six candidates in the January 28 special runoff elections have a January 21 deadline to file their runoff campaign finance reports. State candidates facing primary opposition must file their 30-day-out reports by February 3.

Filing Period Begins: Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the first day local candidates can file for a spot on the May 2 general election ballot. The filing deadline is February 14.

GOV: The campaign of Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced he raised $7.8M during the second half of 2019, and he has $32M on hand. Abbott raised $7.1M during the corresponding period four years ago and $9M during the same period two years ago. His cash on hand figure has increased by nearly $14M during the past year. His $32M on hand breaks his own record for the most ever held on hand by a state official three years prior to their re-election campaign, topping his $22.5M cash on hand figure from four years ago.

SD12: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Shadi Zitoon for the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).

SD27: The Texas Parent PAC endorsed primary challenger and current State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez over Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville).

HD59: Texas Right to Life PAC endorsed primary challenger Shelby Slawson over Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville).

CD11 open: The campaign of August Pfluger announced he raised $522K during the fourth quarter.

Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) endorsed J. Ross Lacy to succeed the retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland).

CD12: As reported by Politico, a month-old Remington Research Group poll conducted for the Congressional Leadership Fund PAC shows U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) leading primary challenger Chris Putnam, 62%-16%, and 58% of respondents said they “would definitely vote for Kay Granger.” The 11-term incumbent and former Fort Worth mayor is viewed favorably by 62% of respondents and unfavorably by 23%. Putnam’s favorability rating is 19/8 with 73% of respondents having “no opinion” of him. The poll of 686 “likely” primary voters was in the field December 17-18 and had a stated margin of error of ±3.7%. Putnam has run television ads attacking Granger and has likely improved his own name identification since the poll was conducted. He out-raised the incumbent, $456K to $284K, in the third quarter. Neither campaign has released fourth quarter numbers as far as we can tell.

CD17 open: Texas Right to Life PAC endorsed George Hindman to succeed the retiring U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan).

CD31: Democratic candidate Mike Grimes, who filed on the last day of the filing period, has reportedly suspended his campaign. His name will remain on the ballot alongside the five Democrats still in the race to challenge U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock).

Lavaca Co.: County Judge Tramer Woytek (R) announced his resignation to take a position with the Texas Assoc. of Counties. Woytek was first elected in 2010 and has been re-elected twice. The Commissioners Court will appoint an interim successor, and a special election will be held in November to fill the remaining two years of his expired term.

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