Single-punch Elimination: The Senate gave final passage to House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton), sponsored by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), to end the practice of single-punch, straight-ticket voting in the state. None of the chamber’s Democrats voted for the bill. Because the Senate added an amendment to delay implementation until 2020, the bill will return to the House for an expected vote to concur.

Note: Jeff Blaylock, publisher of Texas Election Source, is on record as being in favor of House Bill 25.

SD19: The former county judge of Reeves Co. will plead guilty to a pair of federal charges connected to the charges filed against Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). Jimmy Galindo was not named as a conspirator in indictments unsealed Tuesday but not charged with a crime. His plea deal means prosecutors will not present his case to a grand jury, and he will “fully cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of any and all criminal transactions” related to his case. Nevertheless, Galindo faces up to five years in federal prison. Uresti has proclaimed his innocence to all charges.

SD31: Former Midland Mayor Mike Canon announced he will once again challenge Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) in the Republican primary. Canon lost the 2014 Republican primary to Seliger by 5 percentage points. Canon reported having just under $19K on hand as of December 31. He raised almost $310K for his 2014 campaign, including at least $65K from significant supporters of the Empower Texans PAC. The group did not appear to be active in the 2014 race beyond its endorsement of Canon, but it is expected to be more involved this time.

Mike Canon’s Largest Donors in 2014

$50,000 – Kyle Stallings*

$20,000 – J.J. Matthews

$15,000 – James & Paula Henry

$10,000 – Paul Davis, Doubletree LLC, Taylor & Jeanie Mayne, Dick Saulsbury*, Douglas Scharbauer, Don & Gwyn Sparks, Jeffrey Sparks

$7,500 – Joseph Canon

$5,000 – E. Lee Crump, Betty Rae Davis, Paul Davis III, Tervis Herd, J.R. Purvis, Russ Rutledge, Kevin & Jill Sparks, Todd & Karen Sparks

$3,000 – Don & Betty Tomlin

$2,500 – Ernest Angelo Jr.*, Windi Grimes*, David & Karen Watkins

* indicates significant donor to the Empower Texans PAC

CD1: Nacogdoches university professor Brent Beal filed paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential challenge to U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) as a Democrat.

CD26: Frisco recruiting firm owner Ira Bershad filed paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential challenge to U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville) as a Democrat.

CD31: Georgetown geographic data administrator Mike Clark filed paperwork reauthorizing his campaign committee for a second race against U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) as a Democrat. Clark received 36% of the vote in 2016.

Arlington: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorsed Roxanne Thalman for D3 open and incumbent Lana Wolff for D5. The paper had endorsed Wolff prior to the May 6 election.

Bastrop: Voters made history twice on May 6. First, they elected Connie Schroeder as mayor, making her the first woman to lead the city in its 185-year history. Second, a close race for city council P3 went to a runoff between Lee Harle (43%) and Lyle Nelson (39%), the first time a city race has ever gone to a runoff. The council set a June 17 runoff election day.

Dallas: The Dallas Morning News’s Naomi Martin reported that the whistleblower in the Dallas Co. ballot-by-mail voter fraud story is a person of interest in the case.

San Antonio: Less than two weeks after adding Democratic operative Colin Strother to her runoff campaign team, Mayor Ivy Taylor has hired Republican operative Matt Mackowiak as senior advisor. Meanwhile, the Taylor campaign has launched a web site attacking “Liberal Ron” Nirenberg, her runoff opponent.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC