SCCJ: Bellaire attorney and Court of Appeals Justice (Dist. 14, Pl. 3) Jerry Zimmerer amended his campaign committee for a potential challenge of Chief Justice Nathan Hecht (R) as a Democrat. Zimmerer won the Place 3 seat on the 14th Court of Appeals in 2018 by ousting Justice Brett Busby (R), himself now a Supreme Court justice, in the 2018 general election, 51%-49%. Zimmerer unsuccessfully sought the 1996 Republican nomination for a place on the 1st Court of Appeals, finishing third with 29% of the vote.

HD26: Sugar Land physician Lalani Suleman established a campaign account for a potential challenge of Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) as a Democrat.

HD136: Cedar Park resident Dave Jacobson established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. John Bucy (D-Cedar Park). We were unable to identify him conclusively.

SEN: National pundit Nathan Gonzales shifted his rating of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s (R) seat to “likely Republican” from “solid Republican.”

CD6: Maypearl attorney Stephen Daniel established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington) as a Democrat. The committee’s treasurer is Jana Lynn Sanchez, the 2018 Democratic nominee who lost to Wright, 53%-45%.

CD7: Houston real estate investor Jim Noteware established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Houston) as a Republican.

CD23: Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones announced her campaign raised $571K during the last six weeks of the second quarter.

El Paso Co.: District Attorney Jaime Esparza announced he would not seek re-election. He was first elected in 1992 after ousting a longtime incumbent in the Democratic primary, 70%-30%, and has been re-elected six times. Esparza’s district includes Culberson and Hudspeth Cos. No Republican has sought the seat since at least 1992.

The news prompted a cheeky tweet from Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso):

Moody and Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), who is also up for re-election in 2020, have been mentioned by local political observers as potential candidates to succeed Esparza.

Census Citizenship Question: A federal judge rejected a motion from the U.S. Justice Department to replace the attorneys representing the government in ongoing litigation over the potential inclusion of a citizenship question on the short Census form sent to all households. “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for substitution of counsel,” U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman wrote. Furman granted the motion for two attorneys who no longer work for the department.

©2019 Texas Election Source