Special Session: A bill intended to prevent mail-in ballot fraud was passed by the Senate, 21-10. Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would increase penalties for voter fraud committed via mail-in ballots, particularly for individuals convicted of prior or concurrent election fraud offenses or the victim was a voter aged 65 or older. A series of Democratic amendments were defeated along largely party-line votes, including an amendment that would exempt family members from a bill making it an offense to “influence the independent exercise of the vote of another in the presence of a ballot or during the voting process.” Several senators argued that the provision would make family members guilty of election fraud if the family discussed candidates with a mail-in ballot on the table or in the same room.

HD15 open: The Woodlands anesthesiologist Rick Mora announced he is a Republican candidate for the seat being vacated by Rep. Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands). Former Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) has previously announced his candidacy.

HD18: Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) announced he would seek re-election.

HD128: In a late-filed report, Terry Sain, the Baytown council member who is challenging Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) in the Republican primary, indicated he has $7K on hand and received a single $2K contribution from the Baytown Firefighters PAC. He also loaned his campaign $7.5K. Cain reported having $181K on hand after receiving $168K in contributions during the last 12 days of June.

TBD: Ponder university professor and real estate broker Angie Cadena established a campaign committee but did not indicate which office she might be seeking. She appears to reside in SD12 and HD63, represented by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), respectively. She also appears to reside in ED14, but board member Sue Melton-Malone (R-Robinson) is not up for re-election until 2020. Social media and past group affiliations suggest she will run as a Democrat.

See our 2018 Challengers page for all 209 challengers and open-seat candidates who we confirm have taken a formal step toward running for state and federal office from Texas in 2018.

No One Running: The filing deadline has passed in South Lyon, Mich., and no one filed for mayor. Four candidates, including a single incumbent, filed for the three council positions on the ballot. Incumbent Mayor John Galeas and two sitting council members are not seeking re-election. Galeas said two council members who make it “just about impossible to get much accomplished, making everything about them and not the residents” were part of the reason he is not seeking another two-year term. It is unclear how the city will proceed.

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