HD99: Fort Worth security solutions businessman Bo French said he would not challenge Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) again in 2020. Geren defeated French, 58%-42%, in the 2016 Republican primary and 57%-43% in the 2018 primary. French received a formal apology from a political operative working for Geren’s 2016 campaign. French sued David Sorensen in 2017, alleging Sorensen filed a false report about the French family with Child Protective Services. Geren has said he was unaware of Sorensen’s report until the lawsuit was filed.

CD10: Austin attorney Shannon Hutcheson announced she would challenge U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin).

Maypearl: The city council unanimously named council member Jo Ann Mathers as the city’s new mayor. She succeeds the late Doc Veltman, who won re-election on May 4 despite having already passed away. Mathers has served on the council for five years and was most recently re-elected last year. The council will appoint Mathers’s successor next month.

Dallas Republicans: Former Rep. Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie) was elected chair of the Dallas Co. Republican Party. He succeeds the late Missy Shorey, who passed away last month. He was elected on the third ballot.

Ballot Access: A bill requiring minor party candidates to pay filing fees and lowering the threshold for a minor party to gain automatic access has passed the Senate. House Bill 2504 by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) would require candidates nominated by convention to pay a filing fee that current law requires only for Democratic and Republican candidates, who are nominated by primary elections. Critics argue this would result in fewer Libertarian candidates because they would be required to pay filing fees when nominated. The bill would also grant automatic ballot access to all nominees of a political party for which at least one statewide candidate received at least 2% of the vote in any of the last five general elections. This would re-quality the Green Party, which lost ballot access after none of its statewide candidates received at least 5% of the vote in 2016.

Taxpayer-funded Lobbying: The House today (Monday) rejected a bill that would prohibit local governments from using tax dollars to lobby the Legislature. The bill was a top priority of Empower Texans and other conservative groups. According to the preliminary record vote posted on the Legislature’s web site, 25 Republicans voted against the bill: Steve Allison, Doc Anderson, Trent Ashby, Ernest Bailes, Keith Bell, Angie Chen Button, Travis Clardy, Drew Darby, Dan Flynn, Todd Hunter, Kyle Kacal, Ken King, John Kuempel, Stan Lambert, Lyle Larson, Rick Miller, Chris Paddie, Tan Parker, Four Price, John Raney, John Smithee, Phil Stephenson, Lynn Stucky, Gary VanDeaver and John Zerwas. The Empower Texans PAC has supported challengers or other open-seat candidates over almost all of these members in past election cycles.

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