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SD19 special: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Pete Flores (R).

SEN: The campaign of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) has accepted an invitation from KXAS-TV in Dallas for an August 31 debate, one of five dates and locations his campaign proposed last month. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) has not accepted the invitation, preferring a date closer to the election and not on a Friday. Libertarian nominee Neal Dikeman said he did not receive an invitation from the TV station for the debate. Dikeman previously challenged O’Rourke to two debates in an open letter posted on his web site.

CD7: Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) endorsed challenger Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D).

CD32: The campaign of Democratic challenger Colin Allred touted an internal poll showing him trailing U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas), 47%-45%, in the “initial head-to-head matchup.” Allred’s favorability rating was 23/15, which means that more than half of respondents did not know enough about him to have an opinion of him. Sessions was viewed favorably by 38% of respondents. His unfavorable number was not provided. Oddly, the poll finds that 51% of respondents view former President Barack Obama favorably compared to 41% for President Donald Trump. Obama lost the district to Mitt Romney by 15 points in 2012. Trump lost the district to Hillary Clinton by 2 points in 2016. The poll of 500 “likely voters” was conducted by GBA Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm, using live telephone interviews with a “mix of landline and mobile phones.” It was in the field July 30 through August 1. Its stated margin of error is ±4.4%.

Primary Turnout: Four states held primary elections on Tuesday. Turnout in at least three of those states exceeded the turnout our state’s March primary, dropping Texas to 34th out of the 41 states that have held primaries so far this year. As of press time, turnout in Connecticut was sitting at 14%, three points below Texas. About a sixth of the Nutmeg State’s precincts had not yet reported results. If Connecticut’s turnout exceeds 17%, then Texas would fall to 35th place.

Odessa: Voters in November will decide if the city council will get a new, at-large council member. The current council has five members, each elected from single-member districts. Voters will also decide if the mayor will have a vote on all council matters, not just tied votes.

Plano: Council member Tom Harrison will not face a recall election in November after District Judge Mark Rusch ruled the city used the wrong charter to determine the number of signatures needed. A recall petition containing more than 4,400 signatures was filed in April, which is more than enough based on the turnout in 2015, the year Harrison was elected. Harrison contended the city should have used the 2017 election, which saw much higher turnout, as its standard. A copy of the city’s charter filed with the Secretary of State in 1961 said a recall petition needed at least 30% of voters who cast ballots in the “last” regular municipal election, which was in 2017. The charter city officials relied on to validate the petition did not include the word “last,” and they used the 2015 election. Harrison’s four-year term expires in May 2019.

Michigan: Secretary of State Ruth Johnson filed notice that the state will appeal, and seek a stay against, a ruling preventing it from eliminating the single-punch, straight-ticket voting option. Two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain ruled that the state “intentionally discriminated against African-Americans” when it enacted a bill eliminating the single-punch option.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC