Early voting concludes Friday for the November 5 constitutional amendment, general and special elections. Through yesterday (Tuesday), 475K people have voted early statewide, amounting to 3% of registered voters. Turnout exceeds 5% in 32 of the state’s 254 counties to date. About 9K have people voted early in the HD28 special election. Through today (Wednesday), more than 101K people have voted in Harris Co., most of whom are in Houston.

HD16: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) for re-election.

HD17: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) for re-election.

HD25 open: Angleton resident John Henry established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton). We were unable to identify him conclusively.

HD56: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Doc Anderson (R-Lorena) for re-election.

HD103: Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) announced he would seek re-election to a ninth term.

TBD: Houston attorney David Vuong established a state campaign committee but did not appear to identify which office he would seek. Social media posts suggest he will run as a Democrat.

Interim Charges: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) released interim charges for Senate committees today (Wednesday). He tasked the State Affairs Committee to “study the integrity and security of voter registration rolls, voting machines and voter qualification procedures to reduce election fraud in Texas.” He asked the committee to study and make recommendations to:

  • Ensure counties verify voters’ eligibility after they register
  • Improve training requirements for mail-in ballot signature verification
  • Ensure every voter has access to a polling station “particularly in counties that have adopted countywide polling”
  • Allow the suspension of an “unqualified voters’ registration” and removal of ineligible voters from the rolls; and
  • Prohibit school trustees and employees from “improperly using public funds to advocate” for political causes.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) has not yet released House interim charges.

SEN: Petersburg Libertarian Party coordinator Kerry McKennon established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) as a Libertarian. McKennon was the party’s nominee for LTGOV in 2018 (2%). He unsuccessfully ran for HD88 in 2014 (7%) and in the 2014 special election for SD28 (1%).

CD13 open: Dallas real estate investor and conservative activist Chris Ekstrom announced he would run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) as a Republican. Ekstrom heads the Courageous Conservatives PAC and has spearheaded an effort to protect Confederate monuments. Ekstrom established a campaign committee for the race using a Wichita Falls post office box as the committee’s address.

Meanwhile, Amarillo certified financial planner and council member Elaine Hays announced she would seek the seat as a Republican and established a campaign committee. She had been exploring the race. She lost a 2014 primary challenge to Thornberry (19%). Hays is serving her second term on the council.

CD17 open: Pflugerville aerospace business owner George Hindman officially announced he would seek the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan). “It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to fix our national problems,” Hindman said in a statement. “But Washington D.C. is so broken, a rocket scientist might be what we need.” Hindman unsuccessfully challenged Flores in the 2012 Republican primary (18%) and has run unsuccessfully for SD14 in 2018 (25%) and Austin council D1 in 2014 (7%). We previously reported Hindman had established a campaign committee for the race.

CD31: Round Rock real estate broker and council member Tammy Young announced she would challenge U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) as a Democrat and established a campaign committee for the race. Young was elected to the city council in 2017.

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