LTGOV: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R).

HD62 open: Denison Mayor Jared Johnson and former Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum endorsed Reggie Smith to succeed the retiring Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman)

CD23: The campaign of Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones announced she raised $208K during the fourth quarter of 2017. That figure is more than double the amount she raised for the previous quarter. Ortiz Jones is one five Democrats running to challenge U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio).

Tarrant Co.: Incumbent Justice of the Peace Russ Casey (R) has withdrawn from his re-election bid in the wake of accusations he forged signatures on his petition. The deadline to withdraw has passed, but Tarrant Co. party chair Chris O’Hare may be able to remove his name from the ballot because of the forgery complaint filed by one of his opponents. Casey is expected to drop a lawsuit accusing his challengers of submitting inadequate numbers of signatures on their petitions. By law, justice of the peace is considered a judicial office, and a candidate for the office in Tarrant Co. must submit a petition containing 250 valid signatures along with their filing fee.

Webb Co.: A candidate for district clerk has withdrawn from the Democratic primary after the validity of as many of 250 of the 560 signatures on her petition for candidacy was questioned. Jackie Leven Ramos, a Laredo Community College board member, submitted a petition with signatures in lieu of a filing fee. Incumbent Esther Degollado (D) is now unopposed for re-election.

Cedar Park: Mayor Matt Powell announced he would not seek re-election during the annual “state of the city” address. Powell has served since his 2012 election, winning re-election twice.

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