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Early voting concludes tomorrow (Friday) for the July 14 primary runoff and special elections.

Through yesterday (Wednesday) – the seventh or eighth day of early voting in person depending on the county – 482K people have voted in the Democratic runoff statewide (38% by mail) and 317K have voted in the Republican runoff (30% by mail), amounting to 2.95% ad 1.94% of all registered voters, respectively. Nearly twice as many Democrats (183K) have voted by mail than Republicans (94K) so far.

Statewide Democratic turnout already exceeds the 2018 runoff, including Election Day, and also exceeds the number of votes cast in each of the 1996, 2000, 2006, 2008 and 2012 runoffs. The number of voters participating in the Democratic runoff is on pace to be the highest since 1990.

SEN: A new poll from TargetPoint finds M.J. Hegar leading Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), 40%-33%, among “self-identified Democrats” who are “likely” to vote in the runoff. Her lead shrinks to within the margin of error, 33%-29%, when self-identified independents and Republicans – who are nonetheless likely Democratic runoff voters – are included. It was first touted by the campaign of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R). The poll of 830 likely runoff voters was conducted by telephone and “mobile technology” on July 8. The stated margin of error is ±3.2%.

CD21: The campaign of Democratic challenger Wendy Davis said she raised $1.4M during the second quarter and will report having $2.8M on hand.

CD22 open: The campaign of Democratic nominee Sri Kulkarni said he raised $950K during the second quarter and will report having $1.1M on hand.

Republican Convention: The Republican Party of Texas has sued the city of Houston and Houston First Corporation over their decision to cancel next week’s state convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The suit claims Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner unlawfully canceled the event out of “ideological viewpoint discrimination” after permitting mass protests.

District Judge Larry Weiman (D) denied the party’s motion after a hearing this afternoon (Thursday), which enables the party to appeal directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

Round Rock: The city council voted to delay this year’s general and special elections to May 2021. The elections were delayed from May 2 of this year to November 3 because of COVID-19. The move effectively extends the current terms of office for Mayor Craig Morgan and council members Tammy Young (Place 1), who was not seeking re-election, and Will Peckham (Place 4) by one year. Places 3 and 5 will also be up for election in May 2021. The filing period will not be reopened because of the postponement.

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