A few things we wanted to share with you today:
Fraser Retires. In a letter to his colleagues, Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) announced he would not seek re-election. He was elected to the Senate in 1996 after receiving 81% in the Republican primary. He was unopposed in the primary in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2012. He was not likely to go unopposed in 2016. The last longtime senator who had not faced a primary opponent since his first election was former Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas), who lost a bitter, and expensive, primary to Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) in 2014.
Fraser’s decision to retire — particularly this early — changes the dynamic for several incumbent House members, who would probably have declined to challenge an incumbent. Members residing within SD24 include Reps. Susan King (R-Abilene), Andrew Murr (R-Junction) and Molly White (R-Belton). Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) also resides in the district but recently announced he would not seek re-election to the House. Former Reps. Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) and Suzanna Hupp (R-Kempner) also reside in the district.
Simpson, Others Mulling Race Against Eltife. The Senate’s newly elected President Pro Tem, Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), is expected to face at least one — likely several — challengers running to his right if he seeks re-election. Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) is planning an announcement about “my next campaign for liberty” on June 22. Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) is said to be interested, according to a campaign spokesman. SBOE member Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant), who previously announced he would not seek re-election, is also considering the race if Eltife does not run again. Eltife has been unopposed in three re-election primaries since first winning the seat in a special runoff election in 2004. Eltife said he expects to announce his plans for 2016 in a few weeks.
Early Voting Continues. Today was the second day of early voting in most local jurisdictions with runoff elections. In Bexar Co., a total of 16,219 have voted early in person so far. This is a higher total than for the May 9 election. In fact, in that election, 16,952 voted early in person in the first three days.
New Presidential Poll Sheds Little Light. A new CNN polls shows Republicans (and independents who lean Republican) narrowly prefer Marco Rubio (14%) and Jeb Bush (13%) over the other potential and announced nominees. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (8%) is tied for fourth, and former Gov. Rick Perry (5%) is in 8th place. With a +/-4.5% margin of error, the top eight candidates are within the margin of error of each other.
New CTAs. No new campaign treasurer appointments (CTAs) of interest have been filed since our last report.