LTGOV: Mike Collier, a Houston accountant and Texas Democratic Party finance chair, announced he would challenge Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Collier, who received 38% of the vote in his 2014 race for COMP against Glenn Hegar, had also been mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate. Collier raised nearly $1.2M for his COMP campaign, which was third in the race behind Hegar ($5.0M) and then-Rep. Harvey Hilderbran ($1.8M), who Hegar defeated for the Republican nomination. Former Rep. Allen Vaught (D-Dallas) filed paperwork in January indicating a run against Patrick, as did former gubernatorial candidate Miriam Martinez, who received 3% in the 2014 Republican primary against Greg Abbott.

AG: U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant again dismissed the federal securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton. Mazzant ruled the federal Securities and Exchange Commission failed to prove that Paxton had a legal duty to disclose that he would make a commission if investors bought stock in McKinney-based Servergy. This latest dismissal is “with prejudice,” which means the charges cannot be brought again. The SEC is not expected to appeal the decision. In a statement, Paxton said, “These charges were baseless when the SEC initially brought them, and they were without merit when the SEC re-filed them.” Paxton still faces state fraud charges, and a criminal trial is scheduled to begin May 1.

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