Early voting continues through Tuesday in most jurisdictions participating in the May 4 uniform election. Generally speaking, turnout is light across the state:

  • In Dallas Co., turnout is just north of 2% through the first four days. Turnout exceeds 5% in around three dozen of the 826 precincts participating in the election.
  • In Tarrant Co., almost 21K people have voted through the first four days, amounting to just under 2% turnout. Turnout exceeds 5% in about a dozen of the 695 precincts participating in the election. Less than a third of in-person voters live in Fort Worth, where all council members and the mayor are on the ballot.
  • In Bexar Co., not quite 27K people have voted in person through the first four days.
  • In Ellis Co., more than 3K people have voted early through four days – 3.1% of registered voters – for a countywide proposition and elections in nine municipalities and five school districts.
  • In Taylor Co., nearly 2K people have voted through four days with turnout being the largest, at 554 voters, today (Thursday).

HD45: Driftwood attorney Kent “Bud” Wymore established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood). He is a former chair of the Hays Co. Republican Party.

SEN: A new Change Research poll of “likely Democratic primary voters” shows U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) far ahead of the field of potential and theoretical candidates. Castro was the choice of 43% of voters. No other candidate received more than 5% support. M.J. Hegar, who formally entered the race on Tuesday, received 3% support. A third of voters were undecided.

Castro’s net favorability rating was 55/7, but one fifth of respondents had “never heard” of him. Seven out of 10 respondents said the state was on the “wrong track.” Unsurprisingly, 94% of respondents rated President Trump’s job performance as “poor.” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s job performance was rated “poor” by 86%; Gov. Greg Abbott’s by 60%; and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s by 56% of respondents.

The online survey of 1,578 “likely 2020 Democratic primary voters” was in the field April 18-22 and has a stated margin of error of ±2.5%.

Meanwhile, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas endorsed Cornyn.

PRES: A new Change Research poll of “likely Democratic primary voters” found former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) leading the large field with the support of 25% of respondents, followed by Joe Biden (20%), Bernie Sanders (19%) and Pete Buttigieg (15%). No other candidate had double-digit support, including former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (4%). Nearly three quarters of those polled said they were “very confident” they would “end up voting for this candidate.”

Edinburg: Mayor Richard Molina and his wife Dalia have been charged with orchestrating a voter fraud scheme in connection with his 2017 election.  The Molinas are accused of “pressur[ing] and persuad[ing]” at least seven Hidalgo Co. voters to change their addresses to places where they did not live, including an apartment complex owned by Molina, so that they could vote for him. Molina is also accused of signing some of those voter applications. Both were certified as volunteer voter registrars.

The Office of the Attorney General and Hidalgo Co. District Attorney’s office worked together on the investigation, which has led to 18 arrests, including the Molinas. In a statement released by the Attorney General’s office, Hidalgo Co. District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez thanked voters for coming forward to explain “how they were lured by an ambitious candidate into participating in an illegal voting scheme to elect” Molina.

Attorneys representing the Molinas said they are “victims of a power struggle” and are “absolutely innocent” of the charges.

Molina ousted longtime Mayor Richard Garcia by 1,240 votes in November 2017.

Weslaco: The city council accepted the resignation of council member Jerry Tafolla and is expected to order a July 16 special election to fill his unexpired term. Tafolla, who was re-elected in November, resigned earlier this month after pleading guilty to bribery charges connected to the city’s water treatment facilities.

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