SD19: Early voting begins tomorrow (Monday) for the special runoff election between Pleasanton retired game warden Pete Flores (R) and former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine). Early voting continues through Friday. Election Day is September 18. Flores finished first in the July 31 special election with 34% of the vote. Gallego received 29%, edging out Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who received 24% of the vote. The winner will fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), who resigned in June, and face re-election in 2020 and again in 2022 following redistricting. The seat has a roughly 50-50 chance of being on the ballot again in 2024 after senators draw lots for their initial term lengths.

Candidates’ runoff campaign finance reports are due tomorrow (Monday). They are usually made available online by the next day, at which point we will take a close at them.

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Express-News endorsed Gallego.

AG: The National Rifle Assoc. PAC endorsed Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R).

SD8 open: The Texas Parent PAC endorsed Mark Phariss (D) over Angela Paxton (R).

HD27: Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) turned himself in to the Montgomery Co. jail to begin serving a prison sentence for his November 2014 misdemeanor conviction for barratry. Reynolds voluntarily revoked his appellate bond in hopes that he would be able to begin the Legislative session in Austin. He could serve up to 12 months. In a statement, he said his attorney is working on “various” legal challenges and that Reynolds “look[ed] forward to continuing to fight for his constituents during the upcoming session.” State law does not require a legislator to resign if convicted of a misdemeanor. Reynolds is unopposed for re-election after receiving 61% of the vote in the Democratic primary.

HD114 open: The Texas Parent PAC endorsed John Turner (D) over Lisa Luby Ryan (R).

Straight-party Voting: Michigan’s repeal of its single-punch, straight-party option will take effect for this year’s general election. Late last week, the federal Sixth Court of Appeals overruled a lower court decision that concluded the state intentionally discriminated against African-American voters. The U.S. Supreme Court then declined to hear the case.

Michigan is one of 12 states that have repealed or stopped using a single-punch, straight-party option since 1994. Texas repealed its single-punch option last year, but it does not take effect until the 2020 general election. The New Mexico Secretary of State is attempting to revive the option but faces a lawsuit from multiple parties contending there is no legal authorization to use it.

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