Federal candidates and officeholders are required to file April quarterly reports by Sunday. We will be updating our Federal Crib Sheet over the weekend.
Nominating Conventions: The Libertarian Party of Texas and as many as five political parties seeking ballot access will hold their state conventions this weekend, during which they will nominate their slates of candidates. Only the Libertarian Party is guaranteed access to the general election ballot. The America’s Party of Texas, Green Party of Texas and None of the Above party must collect at least 47,183 valid signatures in order to get their candidates on the ballot. The Christian Party of Texas and Texas Independent Party did not have any candidates file by the deadline.
CD7: The campaign of U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston) announced he raised nearly $550K during the first quarter of 2018 and has $920K on hand. He reported raising just $94K before the primary election, so about 83% of his quarterly contributions came after the primary. Culberson was the only incumbent U.S. representative to be out-raised by one or more of his challengers during the third quarter of 2017. As of February 14, Culberson was the only incumbent U.S. representative from Texas to be out-raised by at least one opponent for the election cycle to date.
Meanwhile, Houston council member Robert Gallegos, Harris Co. Tejano Democrats and Asian-Americans Democratic Club endorsed Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in the Democratic runoff over Laura Moser.
CD27 open: The U.S. House Ethics Committee has ended its investigation into the conduct of former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) because it “no longer has jurisdiction.” Farenthold resigned last week. In a statement, the committee urged Farenthold to keep his promise to reimburse the U.S. Treasury the $84K in public funds used to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
Kaufman Co.: A one-vote Republican primary race is now tied after a visiting judge ruled a provisional vote should be counted. Challenger Tracy Gray filed suit contesting her one-vote loss to incumbent Co. Court-at-Law judge Dennis Jones alleging voter fraud. The visiting judge threw out five mail-in ballots, but none of the five witnesses could recall who they voted for in the race. All five ballots were connected to a Terrell poll worker who Gray’s suit accuses of vote harvesting. More ballots may be implicated, but the likeliest outcome is a special primary election this summer.
Stockman Convicted: Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Friendswood) was found guilty on 23 felony counts of mail and wire fraud, money laundering, election law violations and tax evasion. Stockman and two former campaign aides were accused of using charitable donations for personal and campaign expenses. Testimony during his criminal trial indicated Stockman placed an intern in the office of Rep. James White (R-Hilister) in order to spy on him. The former two-term congressman faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each fraud count.
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