HD46: Various outlets reported that Texas Rangers will present evidence against Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) to a grand jury next week. Meanwhile, former Austin council member Sheryl Cole released a list of pledged supporters, including Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), and announced raising more than $60K (with another $29K pledged).
Also, the Central Texas Democratic Forum intends to hold a candidate event at the Austin Bar Assoc. on January 24. Cole and Chito Vela have confirmed their attendance, per an email invitation sent by the group.
HD67: Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) will report having more than $300K on hand as of December 31. Leach had $265K a week before the general election. Leach is mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) if he runs as expected for U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson’s (R-Plano) open Congressional seat.
House Rules: The House adopted permanent rules for the session. The rules make no changes to the seven-member Committee on Elections or its jurisdiction.
CD16: U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-El Paso) statement last week that he is “very likely” to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 has drawn potential interest in his seat from El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Veronica Escobar. Leeser has decided not to seek re-election this year. Escobar is up for re-election in 2018 and would be required to resign if she became a candidate for Congress. Others, including the El Paso Co. legislative delegation, Sheriff Richard Wiles and Co. Comm. Vince Perez have all said they would not seek the seat. Wiles and Perez were re-elected in November. O’Rourke has pledged to limit himself to no more than four terms. He began his third term last week.