CD6 special: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered a July 27 runoff election to fill the remainder of the late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright’s (R-Arlington) term. Early voting will begin July 19 and end July 23, which is the typical length for a runoff election. Susan Wright (R) faces Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie). Abbott had little flexibility in setting the date – statute requires it to be no earlier than the 70th day after the special election was canvassed, which was today (Wednesday), and no later than the 77th day.
CD30 “open”: The Jane Hope Hamilton campaign unveiled her exploratory committee, which included finance and “faith & community” components. The latter includes Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), former Rep. Lorraine Birabil (D-Dallas) and former Dallas ISD trustee Miguel Solis. The campaign also released a biographical video, “Fearless, Battle Tested.”
Hamilton’s campaign is operating on an assumption that U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) will not seek re-election. Hamilton would withdraw from the race and support her if she sought another term.
Dallas: The city council voted, 11-3, against paying the Dallas Co. elections office for its upcoming administration of the city’s runoff elections. Nine polling places for the May 1 election opened late – five by more than three hours – for various avoidable reasons. The sites’ delayed openings generally affected South Dallas voters and could have had an impact on close races there. Polling stations opened late because election judges could not find keys, custodians were not there to open doors, polling places lacked sufficient extension cords, poll workers’ lack of training and equipment issues.
Legislation: Interestingly, it appears that a comprehensive election bill has not yet been returned to the Senate. The House added 18 amendments to Rep. Briscoe Cain’s (R-Deer Park) committee substitute to Senate Bill 7 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), and it secured final passage on a mostly party-line vote five days ago. The next step in the legislative process is for the Senate to decide whether it concurs in House amendments or, much more likely, rejects them and requests a conference committee to iron out the differences between the chambers’ versions of the bill.
Before that happens, the bill must be returned to the Senate. The five other Senate Bills that received final House passage, including three that were amended, were returned to the Senate on Monday. The last day a conference committee report may be considered in either chamber is May 30.
Congress: As expected, U.S. House Republicans removed U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her leadership post on a voice vote, a move former President Trump applauded, calling Cheney a “bitter, horrible human being.” The vote on a successor, expected to be U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), will come later this week. U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin) is reportedly considering entering the race as a conservative alternative.
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