Voter ID: By a nearly party-line 21-10 vote, the Senate gave its preliminary approval today (Monday) to a bill to update the state’s Voter ID law. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) was the only Democrat to vote for the bill, joining the chamber’s 20 Republicans.

Senate Bill 5 largely conforms to a recent judicial order requiring an option for voters who are impeded from obtaining one of the required identifications. The bill also makes it a felony – carrying up to a 10-year prison sentence – for a voter who intentionally falsifies a declaration of reasonable impediment. Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), the bill’s author, added an amendment to the bill that increased the prosecutorial standard to secure a conviction, easing some fears that voters risked jail time over confusion with the Voter ID law.

The Senate rebuffed Democratic amendments that would have softened the criminal penalty and expanded the list of allowable photo IDs.

HD44: Cibolo resident John David Rodgers filed a campaign treasurer appointment with the Texas Ethics Commission for a potential campaign for state representative, but he did not indicate which district on the form. Almost all of Cibolo lies in Guadalupe Co. in HD44, which is represented by Rep. John Kuempel (R-Seguin). His social media activity indicates he may be active with the Guadalupe Co. Democratic Party.

Corpus Christi: Today was the deadline for candidates to file for the May 6 special election for mayor. Nine candidates filed:

  • Mark Di Carlo, attorney
  • Margareta Fratila, public relations business owner and former two-time council candidate
  • Jonathan Garrison, educator
  • James Hernandez, electrician
  • Ray Madrigal, former Democratic gubernatorial and city council candidate
  • Nelda Martinez, former mayor
  • Joe McComb, at-large council member
  • Mark Scott, former council member; and
  • Larry White, engineer and city ethics commissioner.

The city council has previously found Scott to be ineligible, and Scott has filed a petition with the 13th Court of Appeals seeking to overturn that determination. A decision on that petition is still pending. Drawing for ballot positions is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. The election was called to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Dan McQueen, who resigned 37 days into his three-year term.

Dallas: Former Police Chief David Brown endorsed challenger Matt Wood in his bid to oust incumbent D14 council member Philip Kingston, reported the Dallas Morning News’s Tristan Hallman. Wood previously received the endorsements of former Mayor Ron Kirk, former Rep. Harryette Erhardt (D-Dallas) and former council members Craig Holcomb and Max Wells. Kingston was previously endorsed by former council member Angela Hunt and the Dallas Police Assoc.

Mayor Mike Rawlings does not endorse challengers, but he was quoted in the Dallas Morning News as saying he would vote for Wood if he lived in the district. Rawlings has publicly backed four incumbents: Monica Alonzo, Rickey Callahan, Lee Kleinman and Tiffinni Young. Kingston has publicly supported challengers running against Alonzo and Kleinman. Kingston has also been targeted by the For Our Community PAC, which reported receiving $185K in contributions between January 1 and February 20.

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