GOV: Austin musician Thor Harris announced on Twitter that he would challenge Gov. Greg Abbott (R) but did not indicate a political affiliation.

House Speaker: Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), chair of the House Republican Caucus, has called a meeting of the caucus for next Thursday to discuss the way the Speaker is elected. Last week, the House Freedom Caucus wrote to Parker asking for such a meeting.

Special Session: The House gave final approval to a bill intended to reduce mail-in ballot fraud. Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would increase penalties for voter fraud committed via mail-in ballots, particularly for individuals convicted of prior or concurrent election fraud offenses or the victim was a voter aged 65 or older. The bill included an amendment repealing provisions passed during the regular session that permit election officials to provide assistance at nursing facilities. Five Democrats voted for the bill.

Eye on 2020: Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, has established a federal committee that could play a role in a potential 2020 presidential bid. The Opportunity First PAC is able to support or oppose federal candidates, including, potentially, Castro.

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