SEN: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced he has withdrawn from consideration to be the next Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The best way I can serve is continuing to fight for a conservative agenda in the U.S. Senate,” he said in a statement. Cornyn’s withdrawal averts a free-for-all special election to fill his unexpired term. Cornyn is up for re-election in 2020.

Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton

Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton

AG: The Fifth Court of Appeals issued a stay of all proceedings in the criminal securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton until further notice.

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal team filed an emergency petition with the Fifth Court of Appeals seeking to remove District Judge George Gallagher from the trial. The request, filed late Monday, came three days before a hearing in Houston where the issue of Gallagher’s continued participation in the case was to have been discussed. Prosecutors responded unsuccessfully that Paxton has petitioned the wrong court of appeals and did not follow proper procedures.

The court gave both sides a week to file briefs responding to Paxton’s effort to remove Gallagher, who has said he intends to remain on the case. A trial on the lesser of the charges he faces is currently scheduled to begin in September in Harris Co.

HD65: Carrollton pet store owner Michelle Beckley has launched an ActBlue page to raise money for a potential challenge to Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) as a Democrat. Beckley finished third in the May 6 mayoral race with 23% of the vote, missing the runoff by 360 votes.

HD133: Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans’s Michael Quinn Sullivan tweeted that he is “hearing rumor that Houston’s Steve Hotze is considering” challenging Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston).

Hotze leads the Conservative Republicans of Texas. A blog post in early May listed Murphy among those House Republicans “who sided with the homosexual political movement” by not signing onto Senate Bill 6, the so-called “bathroom bill,” by that date. Murphy is a co-author of a related House Bill, and he signed onto that bill two weeks before CRT’s blog post.

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