GOV: Gov. Greg Abbott has scheduled a “special announcement,” widely expected to be an announcement for his re-election campaign, in San Antonio on July 14.

LTGOV: Former Rep. Allen Vaught (D-Dallas) has taken to Facebook to seek “candid input” on whether he should run against Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R). “The selfish side of me says no,” Vaught said in the post. “The other side of me says Texas is sliding downhill … and that I should step forward although that means I will be away from my family and job that pays the bills.” As of 8:45 p.m., the post had been up for nine hours and received 22 mostly encouraging comments. We previously reported Vaught’s updating of his campaign account for a potential race against Patrick and his announcement he was not “closing the door” on the race after the entry of Mike Collier, the 2014 Democratic nominee for comptroller.

HD128: Baytown council member Terry Sain announced he would challenge Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) in the Republican primary. We previously reported Sain’s filing of a campaign treasurer appointment and Cain’s re-election announcement.

CD23: Former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) filed paperwork establishing an exploratory committee for a potential fourth run for the seat and third against U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio), who ousted Gallego in 2014, 49.8%-47.7%, and defeated him in a 2016 rematch. 48.3%-47.0%. Gallego ousted former U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco (R-San Antonio) in the 2012 general election, 50%-46%, the last time a candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the district. Earlier this year, Gallego said he would consider another run for Congress if a new map were drawn for the 2018 election as a result of pending litigation.

CD26: The Colony inspirational speaker John Wannamaker established a federal campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville) as a Democrat. We previously reported his creation of a CrowdPAC page for the race.

CD31: Round Rock nonprofit executive M.J. Hegar established a federal campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) as a Democrat. Hegar is the author of Shoot Like a Girl, which recounts her successful fight against the U.S. Dept. of Defense’s combat exclusion policy and her three tours in Afghanistan as a Medevac helicopter pilot.

See our 2018 Challengers page for all 188 challengers and open seat candidates who we confirm have taken a formal step toward running for state and federal office from Texas in 2018.

Voter Fraud: KXAN-TV reported that 17 alleged cases of Travis Co. residents voting twice during the 2016 general election have been referred to the Travis Co. District Attorney’s office for investigation. In each case, the voter allegedly cast ballots during early voting and again on Election Day.

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