RRC open: Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) endorsed former Rep. Wayne Christian. Texas Conservative Review’s Gary Pollard endorsed Gary Gates.
SD24 open: Llano Co. Comm. Peter Jones endorsed Dawn Buckingham, who finished second there in the primary with 23% of the vote. Her runoff opponent, Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene), finished third with 21% of the vote. Jon Cobb finished first with 24%. Cobb has endorsed King. The Buckingham campaign also announced the endorsement of former Bandera Co. party chair and SREC member Kim Hesley. Buckingham finished fifth in Bandera Co. with 14% of the vote. King finished first with 35%.
The Texas State Assoc. of Fire Fighters and the Austin Firefighters Assoc. endorsed King.
HD139 open: The Houston Black American Democrats endorsed Kimberly Willis.
Smith Co.: State District Judge Kerry Russell has recused himself from a case filed by JoAnn Fleming’s Grassroots America-We the People to remove Smith Co. Judge Joel Baker from office. The lawsuit cites the way Baker handled a contract for speed zone cameras and Baker’s exchange of explicit emails and photos with a woman who is not his wife. The Tyler Morning Telegraph, two Smith Co. commissioners and others called on Baker to resign prior to the lawsuit being filed. The FBI and the Office of the Attorney General have confirmed investigations into the court and Baker’s official conduct, including whether Baker conducted an illegal executive session meeting in 2014 related to the traffic camera contract. Baker recently resigned from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, of which he has been a member since 2009. Baker’s term as county judge expires in 2018.