CD3: Collin Co. Judge Keith Self (R-McKinney) has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a race for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Plano). The act of forming an exploratory committee does not trigger resign-to-run laws as it does not constitute official announcement of candidacy. Self has served as county judge since 2007. Johnson announced in January that he would not seek re-election. Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano), whose district largely aligns with CD3, is expected to seek the seat. Other potential contenders include Reps. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco), Jeff Leach (R-Plano) and Matt Shaheen (R-Plano); Collin Co. Comm. Susan Fletcher; Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Collin Co. District Attorney Greg Willis. Some of those individuals could also be potential candidates, along with Dallas Co. Republican Chair Phillip Huffines, for SD8 if Taylor runs for Congress or for an open House seat should one or more of those incumbents seek higher office.

HD133: Houston resident Aaron Moore filed a campaign treasurer appointment for a potential challenge of Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston).

ED7: Friendswood resident Matt Robinson filed a campaign treasurer appointment for a potential challenge of incumbent David Bradley. He is likely a Friendswood ISD trustee Gulf Coast Area Assoc. of School Boards director. If that is the case, he contributed to Rep. Greg Bonnen’s (R-Friendswood) 2014 campaign and supported the West Pearland Republican Women in 2016.

Earlier Primaries: Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) filed a bill that would move primary elections to the fourth Tuesday in January. Runoffs would move to the fourth Tuesday in March. The filing period would also move forward, ending the second Monday in October. Had the bill been law for the 2016 election cycle, the Texas presidential primary would been the first contest in the nation.

Partisan Local Elections: Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) filed a bill that would require candidates for municipal office to declare a partisan affiliation to run. Home-rule cities may authorize partisan nominations for city office under Section 143.003, Election Code, but city offices are traditionally nonpartisan. House Bill 2919 does not appear to require primaries for local candidates but would require candidates’ political affiliations to be listed next to their names on the ballot. The bill would permit unaffiliated candidates with access to the ballot if their ballot applications indicated no partisan affiliation.

Corpus Christi: Former gubernatorial and city council candidate Ray Madrigal became the sixth person to file in the May 6 mayoral special election. He joined educator Jonathan Garison, former Mayor Nelda Martinez, at-large council member Joe McComb, former council member Mark Scott and city ethics commissioner Larry White. Meanwhile, the city council has set a special Friday meeting to evaluate Scott’s eligibility. Dueling legal opinions argue that Scott is ineligible because a replacement was not sworn in until his fourth term would have expired and that he is eligible because one of his terms was less than two years.