Redistricting: Parties in the ongoing lawsuit over the state’s congressional and house districts were advised to keep September 5-8 open for a potential remedial hearing. The court also asked attorneys representing the state to provide their availability later in the month.

Special Session: On party-line votes, the House Elections Committee approved two bills 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. House Bill 184 by Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) is similar to Senate Bill 5 but would repeal a law passed during the regular session giving priority to certain disabled voters and permitting elections officials to assist voters in nursing facilities.

SD17: Houston attorney and progressive activist Fran Watson established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) as a Democrat. Watson is the immediate past president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

See our 2018 Challengers page for all 228 challengers and open-seat candidates who we confirm have taken a formal step toward running for state and federal office from Texas in 2018.

Rowlett: Early voting begins tomorrow for the August 26 special election to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Todd Gottel, who is leaving office to run for Dallas Co. Commissioner, and the three city council members seeking his chair. Council members Tammy Dana-Bashian (P2), Bruce Hargrave (P3) and Robbert van Bloemendaal (P1) are among the five candidates running for mayor, which resulted in special elections for their seats. All are serving until successors are elected. Collectively, the likely few voters who turn out to cast ballots will decide a majority of the council.

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