Updated Jan. 18 with new information on one of the new filed candidates.

The filing period for local offices on the May 5 uniform election ballot begins Wednesday and runs until February 16. Sixty of the state’s 100 most populous cities have at least one office up for election. See our list here.

Campaign Finance

Semiannual campaign finance reports are due for state officeholders and candidates (and local candidates where required) tomorrow. January semiannual reports cover contributions received and expenditures made between July 1 (or the date the campaign account was established) and December 31. These reports typically become available online by Wednesday, and we will begin analyzing them for key primary races and updating our Crib Sheets at that time. Because of the large volume of candidates, we expect it will take us a few days to complete our Crib Sheet updates.

GOV: Houston entrepreneur Andrew White’s campaign announced he raised $219K during the last few weeks of December from more than 200 donors.

Former Dallas Co. Sheriff Lupe Valdez reported $46K in contributions between December 6 and the end of the year and has $40K on hand. Valdez’s cash-on-hand figure is more than 1,000 times less than Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will report having on hand. Valdez received 371 contributions, only 14 of which were $1K or more. Her two largest contributors were former Rep. Domingo Garcia (D-Dallas) and Dallas businessman James Reis, both of whom gave $5K.

By comparison, four years ago, then-Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) raised more than $1.5M during the first month of her gubernatorial campaign (which was in October, so there was no Christmas holiday to contend with). In 2005, former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell (D-Houston) raised more than $150K prior to his announcement that he would run for governor.

CD7: U.S. Rep. John Culberson’s (R-Houston) campaign announced he raised $345K during the fourth quarter and would report having $595K on hand. The four leading Democrats challenging him collectively raised nearly $800K during the quarter, bringing their combined contributions in 2017 to around $2.7M. Culberson was the only Texas congressional incumbent who did not hold a cash-on-hand advantage over all of his opponents, and he once again trails at least one of them. Alex Triantaphyllis will report having $630K on hand.


AGRIC: Challenger Trey Blocker’s campaign announced he has been endorsed by the Manufacturers PAC of Texas, the Texas Food and Fuel Assoc. PAC, the Texas Nursery and Landscape Assoc. PAC and the Texas Restaurant Assoc. PAC.

SD16: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Nathan Johnson in the Democratic primary. Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) has no primary opponent.

HD64: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger) in the Republican primary.

HD102: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas) in the Republican primary.

CD23: Bexar Co. Comm. Tommy Calvert endorsed Jay Hulings for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio).

CD24: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Jan McDowell in the Democratic primary. U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Carrollton) has primary opposition.

New Campaign Filings

SD8 open: Allen software executive and two-time Libertarian nominee Ed Kless re-established his campaign committee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano). Because the filing deadline has passed, Kless would need to run as a write-in candidate to be on the ballot in 2018. It is possible he filed locally with the Libertarian Party, and his filing was not reported by the state party. He is the Collin Co. party chair.

SD14: Austin notary services provider Nikole Sturm established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) as a candidate of the None of the Above party. The group has applied to obtain ballot access in 2018. Because the filing deadline has passed, Sturm would need to run as a write-in candidate to be on the ballot in 2018. It is possible she filed locally with the Green Party, and her filing was not reported by the state party. Her personal Facebook page indicates she “likes” a number progressive, Green Party and socialist groups.

Local Elections

Denison: Council member Janet Gott is expected to announce her resignation during Tuesday’s council meeting so she can run for mayor. Incumbent Jared Johnson is term limited.

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