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Campaign finance reports were due today for state candidates facing primary opposition. These 8-day-out reports include contributions received and expenditures made between January 26 and February 24. We expect the summary totals for these reports to appear online during the day Tuesday, during which we will update our Crib Sheets and Hot Races, and the full reports will be available within the next day or so.

Redistricting: Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) filed the state’s opening brief on the merits (PDF) for the redistricting cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. A central theme to the brief is the faith the Legislature placed in the three-judge panel that drew the maps adopted during the 2013 session. “There are few things a legislature can do to avoid protracted litigation over its redistricting legislation,” the state argued. “One would have thought there was one reasonably safe course available to bring it to an end – namely, enacting the three-judge court’s remedial redistricting plan as the legislature’s own. Think again.” The lower court essentially decided the “Texas Legislature engaged in intentional racial discrimination by enacting into law maps imposed by the same district court.” Oral arguments are scheduled for April 24.

GOV: U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) endorsed Lupe Valdez.

SD30: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) endorsed Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) over Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).

HD121 open: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Steve Allison for the seat being vacated by Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio).

CD7: The Laura Moser campaign announced she has raised nearly $87K since the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee singled her out for opposition last week. Moser is one of several well-funded Democrats seeking to challenge U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston).

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