LTGOV: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced he would seek re-election in 2018. Patrick also endorsed Gov. Greg Abbott for re-election (Abbott has not yet announced a re-election bid.), saying that he wanted to put to rest any “distraction” about Patrick’s potentially challenging Abbott (“Not in ’18, not ever.”). Patrick said his campaign will report having $13.6M on hand after raising more than $5 million during the last half of 2016. Semiannual campaign finance reports are due January 17.
HD46: Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) confirmed she will serve during the 85th Legislature. In September, Dukes announced she would resign when her term ended, citing health concerns. A field of candidates formed for what would have been a February special election.
CD3 open: In a statement, Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) said his “immediate focus is on the important work ahead of us in the upcoming session,” not a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Plano). Taylor said he was “incredibly humbled by the overwhelming support” encouraging him to run for Congress.
San Antonio: Joseph Cortez, younger brother of Rep.-elect Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio), announced he would run for the open city council D6 seat. Council member Ray Lopez is term-limited.
Pasadena: U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal ordered the city to revert to an 8-member, single-district council voting plan in place before the 2014 elections after finding that the current plan infringed on Hispanic/Latino voters’ rights. New elections were ordered for May, and any future changes to the city’s voting plan would require U.S. Dept. of Justice pre-clearance.