We appreciate your patience as we migrated our website to its new host over the last couple of days. We know several of you experienced problems logging in and accessing our site yesterday, and we apologize for any inconvenience this caused. The good news is, we’re up and running on servers that we expect will be faster, more reliable and more flexible as we enter the 2020 filing season. – Jeff
Correction: In yesterday’s report, we erroneously referred to U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan) as Pete Flores, who is of course the Republican senator from Pleasanton. We regret the error and have corrected it on our site.
Early voting continues until Friday in most jurisdictions across the state. Through the first eight days of early voting, nearly 76K people have voted early in person or by mail in Harris Co., representing just 3.3% of registered voters. In 2015, there were about 165K early voters countywide, including about 105K in the city of Houston. Overall turnout for that 2015 general election, including Election Day, was 21%, including 27% in Houston.
Statewide, turnout was just north of 2% through Sunday, which is traditionally the lightest day for early voting.
Campaign finance reports were due today (Monday) for candidates running in the three legislative special elections and local general and special elections, where required. Known as the 8-day-out reports, they disclose contributions received and expenditures made between September 27 and October 26. We expect those reports will become available online beginning tomorrow (Tuesday) and will have a report on those numbers, updated Crib Sheets and an analysis of HD28 in short order.
Judicial Selection: Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) appointed four members each to the new Texas Commission on Judicial Selection. Abbott appointed Houston attorney Chip Babcock, Houston attorney David Beck, former Court of Appeals Justice Martha Hill Jamison and McAllen attorney David Oliveira. Beck will serve as the commission’s chair. Patrick appointed Sens. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Joan Huffman (R-Nichols) and Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville). Bonnen appointed Reps. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) and Carl Sherman (D-DeSoto). Hunter and Huffman were the author and primary sponsor of House Bill 3040, which created the commission and charged it to evaluate alternative methods of judicial selection and report its recommendations to the Legislature before the 2021 session. Former Chief Justices Wallace Jefferson (R) and Thomas Phillips (R) and Houston attorney Lynne Liberato were previously appointed to the commission by the state’s high courts.
HD64: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger) for re-election.
Houston: Challenger Tony Buzbee spent nearly $2.9M between September 27 and October 26, more than double the amount spent by Mayor Sylvester Turner ($1.3M). Buzbee has outspent Turner, $8.7M to $5.5M, since July 2018. Turner raised $377K during the period and has $787K on hand. Buzbee reported no contributions and has $1.3M on hand. Bill King raised $87K, spent $194K and has $141K on hand. Council member Dwight Boykins raised less than $8K, spent $95K and has $9K on hand. Former council member Sue Lovell reported $28K in contributions and $11K in expenditures.
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