HD46 special: Travis Co. Democratic Party Chair Vincent Harding announced he would not seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin). Attorney and former Austin council member Sheryl Cole, medical management consultant and Manor ISD trustee Ana Cortez, Austin software executive Nnamdi Orakwue and Austin attorney Chito Vela filed campaign treasurer appointments with the Texas Ethics Commission. Others may have, but the commission’s report on candidate PAC filings has not been updated in more than a month.
Republican Gabe Nila, who received 19% of the vote in the general election, has already announced for the race. Two-time Libertarian nominee Kevin Ludlow and Austin criminal defense attorney Adam Reposa, the Green Party’s 2016 nominee for CCA2, are also expected to run (Reposa’s new Twitter handle is labeled “Adam Reposa, D46”.).
House Speaker: Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) remains unopposed with less than one week to go before the 85th Legislature, Regular Session begins. Candidates for Speaker are required to file paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission. None have filed to date. Straus has had at least one declared opponent each session he has been elected Speaker. In 2015, a roll-call vote was requested in the race between Straus and Rep. Scott Turner (R-Frisco). Straus prevailed, 127-19. Five of those 19 House members, including Turner, will not be back in 2017. Turner did not seek re-election. Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) won an open Senate seat, defeating Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) in the Republican runoff. Reps. Molly White (R-Belton) and Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman) lost re-election primary races.
AG: A spokesman for Attorney General Ken Paxton said his campaign will report raising more than $1.8M during the second half of 2016 and has $4.6M on hand. Semiannual campaign finance reports must be filed by January 17. Paxton intends to seek re-election in 2018.
Floresville: Jacob Silva defeated Debbie Bolf, 441 votes to 200, for an open city council seat in what we believe is the state’s last runoff election following the November general election. A total of 326 people cast ballots during the seven-day early voting period. Runoff turnout dropped 67% from the first round of balloting.