Longtime Bexar Co. Comm. Paul Elizondo, 83, passed away earlier today (Thursday). He served two terms in the House of Representatives from 1979-83 before being elected to the Commissioners Court. He unsuccessfully ran for Bexar County Judge in 1984 before returning to the Commissioners Court in 1986. He has been re-elected eight times since, including in November, when he defeated Republican challenger Theresa Connolly, 67%-33%. In March, Elizondo was forced into a primary runoff for the first time in his career by county veterans’ services officer Queta Rodriguez. Elizondo won the runoff by 4 points.

Under Section 202.002, Election Code, an appointed successor would serve until the 2020 general election, at which point the voters will decide who serves the remaining two years of Elizondo’s unexpired term.

AG: Prosecutors pursuing state criminal charges against Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton have asked the Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider a decision it made last month because it created “a patently absurd result.” On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the court ruled 6-3 to overturn a lower court decision approving the special prosecutors’ legal fees. The court concluded that the lower court had no discretion to approve an hourly fee that differed from the fixed fee approved by local judges. The court ordered the lower court to approve a new fee based on that locally approved fee schedule.

In their filing, the prosecutors say they “would never have accepted the formidable task of prosecuting the Texas Attorney General over the last three-plus years had they been able to look into the future and discern that their pay would come within a coat of paint of minimum wage.” When the decision was handed down, indigent defense experts said the decision could have widespread implications, particularly for complex cases.

Paxton was indicted by a Collin Co. grand jury in August 2015 on three felony counts of securities fraud and acting as an unregistered investment adviser. After multiple delays, his trial was scheduled to begin in December 2017, but was delayed again while prosecutors sought to resolve a long simmering dispute over their compensation. A similar federal case has been dismissed twice.

CD2: Houston Navy veteran and educator Elisa Cardnell established a CrowdPAC page for a potential 2020 challenge of U.S. Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) as a Democrat.

CD23: In an email to supporters, Gina Ortiz Jones said she is “very likely” to challenge U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) in 2020. Meanwhile, San Antonio broadcast journalist Liz Wahl established a campaign committee and a CrowdPAC page for a potential 2020 challenge of Hurd as a Democrat.

CD31: Leander real estate investor Abhiram Garapati established a campaign committee for a potential 2020 primary challenge of U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock).

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