Early Congressional Challengers: At least four Texans have already filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to launch their 2018 campaigns against Texas congressional incumbents:

  • CD6: Arlington locksmith Justin Snider has filed to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) as a Democrat. His campaign’s Facebook page says Snider was a volunteer on the Bernie Sanders campaign and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. It appears to be his first run for office. Barton received 58% of the vote in the 2016 general election.
  • CD18: Republicans Lori Bartley and Ava Pate have filed for a primary rematch with hopes of challenging Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston). Bartley defeated Pate, 58%-42%, in the 2016 Republican runoff for the seat before losing to Jackson Lee, 73%-24%.
  • CD32: Richardson resident Danielle Pellett filed as a Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas). No Democrat ran for the seat in 2016.

Tarleton State Univ. student Michael Moates has filed an even earlier challenge. He has already filed paperwork to run in the 2020 Republican primary for CD24, a seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Carrollton).

El Paso: Former Rep. Dee Margo (R-El Paso) kicked off his campaign for mayor this week. He became the third candidate to file, joining educator and frequent local candidate Jorge Artalejo and former postal worker Charles Stapler, who is a member of the county historical commission. At least five others have announced their candidacies, including two-term council member Emma Acosta; businessman David Saucedo, who is a member of the State Board of Nursing; and Willie Cager, who played on the 1966 Texas Western Coll. (now Univ. of Texas-El Paso) national championship basketball team. Mayor Oscar Leeser is not seeking re-election.

Meanwhile, the El Paso Co. district attorney’s office rejected a criminal complaint filed by Leeser against the husband of former council member Ann Morgan Lilly over an altercation at an El Paso restaurant. The city attorney decided that a related ethics complaint filed against Leeser was incomplete.

Further, a criminal complaint against Leeser and four council members, alleging violation of the Open Meetings Act, has been referred to the Texas Rangers by the district attorney’s office, reported KVIA-TV’s Stephanie Guadian. Two related ethics complaints have been rejected by the city attorney’s office. One of the council members denies the allegation, saying that there were never five members of the council present. Asked how she could be sure, council member Lily Limon said, “Because I can count.” Two of those council members, Limon and Jim Tolbert have, filed for re-election this year. Two challengers have announced for Tolbert’s seat.