A few things we wanted to share with you today:
Quarterly Reporting Bill. The House gave final approval, 145-1, to a bill that would require quarterly, rather than semiannual, campaign finance reports. House Bill 1532 by Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) would add an April 15 and October 15 quarterly report to the existing January 15 and June 15 semiannual reports for all candidates and office-holders. Existing 30-day-out and 8-day-out reports would still be required for candidates in contested races. Rep. Johnathan Stickland (R-Bedford) was the lone nay vote.
HD60 Endorsements. Empower Texans reported that 11 Hood Co. Republican precinct chairs out of 13 have endorsed Mike Lang (R-Granbury), a former Hood Co. constable who is challenging Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland). In the 2014 primary, Keffer lost Hood Co. to Cullen Crisp by a 2-to-1 margin, but won the remaining seven counties by a 2-to-1 margin. Crisp, a Granbury farmer and small businessman, received Empower Texans’ endorsement in the race, and the group contributed at least $65K to his campaign.
Sessions on Huffines. Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reported that U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) said of his potential challenger, Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas), “I would submit to you that he’s got his hands full right now.” We took a look at the 2014 Republican primary results for the SD16 and HD32 races. Sessions received 66% of the vote against Katrina Pierson, and Huffines received 49% of the vote against former Sen. John Carona, in precincts located in both districts. About 72% of the votes cast in the CD32 primary came from SD16 voters.
Presidential Poll. Public Policy Polling released its monthly national poll on the state of the presidential race. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leads the field with 18% followed by a cluster of statistically tied candidates: Marco Rubio (13%), Ben Carson (12%), Mike Huckabee (12%), Jeb Bush (11%), Ted Cruz (10%) and Rand Paul (9%). Chris Christie (5%) and Rick Perry (2%) were the lowest-scoring candidates specifically identified. The firm notes that Bush and Cruz have both slipped since April. Bush “continues to really struggle” with very conservative voters, and Cruz’s post-announcement bounce has eroded. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the choice of 63% of respondents.
Texas Takeover Polled. That same PPP poll found that 32% of respondents believe the federal government was trying to take over Texas, and another 28% weren’t sure. Just 40% believe the government is not trying to take over Texas. Walker (22%) and Cruz (18%) are the top two choices of Republican primary voters who believe the government is trying to take over Texas. Jeb Bush gets 6% of their vote, but he receives a first-place 17% among those who do not think the government is trying to take over Texas.
Sheriffs Retiring. KVUE-TV’s Tony Plohetski reported that Bastrop Co. Sheriff Terry Pickering and Travis Co. Sheriff Greg Hamilton would not seek re-election in 2016. Pickering was first elected in 2008 after serving 28 years in the Travis Co. Sheriff’s Office. Hamilton was first elected in 2004, winning his first run for public office.
New CTAs. No new campaign treasurer appointments (CTAs) of interest have been filed since our last report.
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