SD6 (special): Emily’s List endorsed Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) for the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), the presumptive successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston).
SD19: Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) has surrendered his law license rather than face disciplinary proceedings by the State Bar of Texas. In February, Uresti was convicted in February on felony counts including wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a bankrupt frac-sand company and its executives. Uresti has maintained his innocence.
HD46 open: Austin software executive Nnamdi Orakwue has ended his independent candidacy for the seat currently held by Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin). He was one of the early entrants into what was expected to be a special election prior to the 2017 legislative session. In a statement, Orakwue said the presence of “two solid Democratic candidates” in the runoff, and the defeat of the incumbent, led to his decision.
Dallas Co.: Testimony began in the trial to determine whether the Commissioners Court intentionally discriminated against Anglo voters when it drew its districts in 2011. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of four voters, claims that commissioners cracked Anglo voters between districts and packed many into a single district. It is thought to be the first lawsuit seeking to use the federal Voting Rights Act to protect Anglo voters. Attorneys from the conservative Equal Voting Rights Institute are arguing the case. One of the attorneys, Dan Morenoff, lost his 2016 Republican primary challenge against Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas). In that election, Morenoff was supported by several movement conservative groups, including Empower Texans PAC and the Texas Home School Coalition PAC. Testimony in the lawsuit is expected to take the rest of the week.
Kaufman Co.: A special primary election will be held July 21 to settle a tied Republican primary race for County Court at Law No. 1. The do-over arises from a lawsuit challenger Tracy Gray filed contesting her one-vote loss to incumbent Co. Court-at-Law judge Dennis Jones, alleging voter fraud. A visiting judge ordered a provisional ballot be counted, tying the race, certified six provisional ballots that would have given Gray a two-vote lead and threw out five mail-in ballots for which none of the witnesses could recall who they voted for in the race. All five ballots were connected to a Terrell poll worker who Gray’s suit accuses of vote harvesting. Gray and Jones are the only two candidates who may run in the special primary election.
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