U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) has announced a press conference in Midland tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:30 p.m. CDT, at which he is expected to announce he will retire. Conaway is serving his seventh term. Nationally, he would be the fifth Republican retiring so far this cycle and the second in Texas, joining U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land), who announced his retirement last week. U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Heath) is President Trump’s pick to become the next Director of National Intelligence.

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway

CD11 is the second reddest congressional district in the state. It was 26 percentage points redder than the state as a whole in 2018 and has been trending steadily redder for more than two decades. The district consists of all or part of 29 counties, running from Hood County, just outside the D/FW Metroplex, all the way to the New Mexico border. It includes Midland, Odessa and San Angelo.

CD11 includes large swaths of several legislative districts:

  • 21% of HD53, held by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction), including his home county
  • 96% of HD60, held by Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury), including his home county
  • 84% of HD72, held by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), including his home county
  • 89% of HD81, held by Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), including his home county; and
  • 96% of HD82, held by Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland), the Dean of the House, including his home county.

It includes portions of several Senate districts, but none of the senators live within CD11.

HD4: Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney) announced he would seek re-election to a second term.

HD26: Sugar Land management analyst Leonard Chan established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land). Social media and campaign contribution data suggest this would be a primary challenge. In a recent Facebook post, Chan highlighted Section 150.041, Local Government Code, which bars a municipality form prohibiting an employee from running for office or disciplining an employee who is a candidate for office. Chan lists his employer as the Houston Fire Department. He is at least the third Republican and sixth person overall to take a formal step toward challenging Miller.

HD126: Houston freelance writer Edward D. Huber established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Sam Harless (R-Spring), likely as a Republican.

SEN: The campaign of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) ran an advertisement during the Democratic presidential debate attacking Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas). It ran in at least the Austin market.

CD4 special: With Congress poised to go on recess until Labor Day, it may be overly optimistic to think that a special election could be held to fill U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-Heath) unexpired term in November. President Trump has nominated Ratcliffe to be the next Director of National Intelligence, a post that will not be vacant until next month. Ratcliffe’s nomination requires Senate confirmation, which requires a hearing and then, eventually, a full Senate vote.

If the election is later than November 5, it would create a conundrum for most state and county officials interested in the seat because the filing deadline to run for re-election in 2020 is December 11. The timing of Ratcliffe’s confirmation could also create headaches, because candidates interested in the job full-time would conceivably need to file for CD4, and not their own seats, before the special election even occurs.

CD32: Dallas education technology business owner Genevieve Collins announced she would challenge U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) as a Republican. Collins’s grandmother, Calvert Collins, was the first woman elected to the Dallas city council in 1957.

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