GOV: Vice President Mike Pence will headline a November 13 fundraiser in Washington, D.C., for Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Meanwhile, University of Texas Chancellor Bill McRaven said he had no interest in running for governor.

AG: Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans endorsed Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) for re-election. Since 2013, the group’s PAC has contributed more than $402K and loaned his campaign $1M in 2014.

HD6: Former Rep. Ted Kamel (R-Tyler) formally announced he would challenge Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) in the Republican primary. We previously reported that Kamel had re-established his campaign committee for the race. Kamel served four terms from 1991 to 1999. He lost the 1998 Republican primary to eventual Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler), 54%-46%.

CD16 open: The Texas State Teachers Assoc. and National Education Assoc. endorsed Veronica Escobar, according to the candidate’s Facebook post.

Ellis Co.: County Judge Carol Bush (R) announced she would seek re-election.

Erath Co.: Days after entering the race, Phyllis Stewart has withdrawn as a candidate for county judge. Her departure leaves three Republican candidates: county court employee Alfonso Campos, home builder and volunteer firefighter Jon Koonsman and attorney Shelby Slawson. Incumbent Tab Thompson is not seeking re-election. Campos is a former Caldwell Co. justice of the peace. Koonsman is the “reigning Handsome Hunk of Erath County,” a title bestowed upon him at a county charitable event. Slawson serves on a Stephenville economic development board and an annexation committee.

Grimes Co.: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appointed Andria Bender as District Attorney late last week, and she was sworn in today. Bender succeeds Tuck McLain, who was appointed to the county’s Court at Law. She intends to run for a full term in 2018 as a Republican.

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