Certified Candidates: The state’s political parties were required to submit their certified lists of candidates to the Secretary of State yesterday. We have matched those final lists to our Crib Sheets. However, we have not yet received a final list of independent candidates who filed their declarations of intent with the Secretary of State.
Redistricting: At a January 5 conference, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if it will hear the state’s redistricting lawsuit. The state appealed a federal district court’s ruling invalidating two Texas congressional districts. In September, SCOTUS stayed that ruling and a separate ruling invalidating nine State House districts by 5-4 votes.
Population Estimates: Texas gained 400K residents in the last year, and 28.3 million people now call the Lone Star State home, according to new estimated released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas has gained about 3.2M residents since the 2010 census.
Around 20.9M Texans are at least 18 years of age, although not all of the state’s adults are eligible to vote. Despite strong population growth, the number of Texans who are registered to vote did not increase. As of November 2017, almost 15.1M Texans were registered to vote, which was the same number who were registered as of November 2016. See our analysis of how voter registrations have failed to keep pace with population growth.
Texas is projected to gain three Congressional seats after the 2020 census, the most of any state. A total of nine or 10 seats is expected to shift between states.
Ethics Commission: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) appointed Houston attorney Joseph Slovacek to the Texas Ethics Commission.
AG: The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to hear the legal dispute over compensation for the prosecutors handling the state securities fraud criminal case against Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R). A lower court blocked prosecutors from collecting a six-figure invoice for work dating back to early 2016. The ongoing dispute has delayed Paxton’s criminal trial. Meanwhile, a federal court cleared a key figure in the case on charges of intentionally defrauding investors. While this decision has no direct impact on the Paxton case, it arguably makes it more difficult for prosecutors to prove criminal activity on Paxton’s part if the head of the company at the center of that activity was not guilty of fraud.
CD27 open: The Republican Party of Texas withheld U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R-Corpus Christi) name from the list of certified candidates it provided to the Secretary of State. The Texas Democratic Party filed suit on Wednesday to keep his name on the primary ballot but dropped the suit later in the day when a temporary restraining order was denied.
Farenthold’s decision to withdraw occurred after the statutory deadline that a candidate’s name could be excluded from the ballot. Section 172.052, Election Code provides that a candidate may “not withdraw from the general primary election after the first day after the date of the regular filing deadline.”
Because Farenthold’s name was not included in the list of candidates certified by the Republican Party of Texas, we have removed him from our Crib Sheet.
In 2006, the Texas Democratic Party successfully sued to keep former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) on the general election ballot. DeLay won the Republican primary but later opted not to seek re-election.
HD2: Sulphur Springs resident Bill Brannon filed as a Democrat for the seat held by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van). He filed by the deadline but his name did not appear in candidate lists until the final lists were certified by the Democratic Party this week. Brannon is a former executive director of the Texas Democratic Party.
CD5 open: Gun Barrel City resident Earl Brunner, who filed for two offices, has withdrawn from the Republican primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas). He remains a Republican candidate for open HD4, the seat being vacated by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Kaufman).
Dallas Co.: The Commissioner’s Court appointed Marian Brown to succeed former Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) to serve on an interim basis until voters elect a candidate in a special election coinciding with the November 2018 general election. Brown, who was Valdez’s chief deputy, is one of two Democratic candidates who filed for that special election. Valdez resigned to run for governor.
New Braunfels: The city council called a special election for February 17 to fill the unexpired term of George Green, who resigned to challenge incumbent Justice of the Peace Mike Rust in the Republican primary. First elected in 2013, Green was re-elected in 2016 to a three-year term. Candidates have until January 8 to file for the special election.
Tennessee: Republican state Rep. Mark Pody won a special election over Democrat Mary Alice Carfi, 51%-49%, in a state senate district Donald Trump won by 40 points over Hillary Clinton.
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