AG: After a district judge ordered the whistleblower lawsuit against Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) to proceed, Paxton’s team filed an appeal, further stalling the case. A three-judge panel of the Third Court of Appeals has set oral arguments for September 22. The order, signed by District Judge Amy Clark Meachum (D) on Tuesday afternoon, followed an earlier effort by Paxton’s legal team to appeal an earlier procedural move by Meachum in March. Paxton has denied any wrongdoing, blaming “rogue employees” who were either fired or resigned last year.

SD7: Houston author Misty Bishop established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), likely as a Democrat based on social media activity.

HD10 open: Waxahachie title company executive and 2020 Republican candidate Ryan Pitts announced he would not seek the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie). In a statement, Pitts said “now is not the right time” following the birth of his second child less than two months ago. Pitts, son of former Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie), received 30% of the vote against Ellzey (65%) and another candidate in last year’s primary.

HD52: As expected, Round Rock attorney and former legislative aide Nelson Jarrin announced he would challenge Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock) as a Republican. One of his primary opponents, Round Rock legislative aide Caroline Harris was endorsed by her boss Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and Reps. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) and Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville).

HD104/HD115: While most Texas House Democrats remain in Washington D.C. to continue their quorum break, Reps. Jessica González (D-Dallas) and Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch) are reportedly overseas. González reportedly responded by text message that “no one has shown proof” that she or Johnson is not in Washington. “I don’t respond to rumors,” she reportedly said in a text message. By law, the First Called Session of the Texas Legislature must end by Friday. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has indicated he will call another special session.

CD28: In a sign that she will seek a rematch, Laredo community organizer and 2020 Democratic primary challenger Jessica Cisneros reauthorized her campaign committee for 2022. Backed by national progressives, she raised nearly $2M for her unsuccessful challenge of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who narrowly won renomination, 52%-48%.

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