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Correction: In yesterday’s report, we erroneously gave HD60 candidate Jon Francis someone else’s first name. We have corrected our story and regret the error.

HD2: Texas Right to Life PAC endorsed both of Rep. Dan Flynn’s (R-Van) primary challengers: Doc Collins and Bryan Slaton.

HD25 open: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Freeport Mayor Troy Brimage to succeed the retiring Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton).

HD27: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Republican challenger Manish Seth over Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City).

HD106: Harold Trombley, the primary challenger of Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco), raised $45K and has $21K on hand, both significantly less than Patterson’s $128K in contributions and $104K in cash on hand. Trombley’s largest contributor was Flower Mound retiree Darlene Pendery ($38K). She contributed $35K to Patterson during the 2017-18 election cycle. Since 2014, Pendery has contributed nearly $1.1M to conservative candidates and PACs.

HD113: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Republican challenger Will Douglas over Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Rowlett).

Texas Values Action: Texas Values Action released its initial round of 2020 primary endorsements, including eight Republican senators and 28 Republican representatives. The only non-incumbent on the list was HD45 candidate Carrie Isaac, whose endorsement had been previously announced. Our Crib Sheets track primary endorsements from several influential groups and individuals, including Texas Values Action, as we become aware of them.

CD2: U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s (R-Houston) campaign announced he raised $1.6M during the fourth quarter.

CD11 open: Midland Mayor Patrick Payton and the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Assoc. PAC endorsed August Pfluger to succeed the retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland).

CD17 open: Retiring U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan) has not yet decided to endorse a candidate to succeed him but said on Twitter that he contributed $2K each to Scott Bland, Trent Sutton and Renee Swann, whom he called “3 promising candidates.”

CD20: Texas Right to Life PAC endorsed Republican challenger Dominick Dina over U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio).

CD23 open: The Gina Ortiz Jones (D) campaign announced she raised $826K during the fourth quarter and has $2M on hand.

Midland ISD: A hand count of 836 ballots found in a missing box and a single stray ballot found in a voting machine resulted in the district’s $569 million bond package failing by 26 votes. District Judge Mackey Hancock must approve the outcome, which is not expected to require a formal court hearing. All parties involved appeared to be satisfied that all votes had been counted and there was no evidence of wrongdoing. “Today’s exercise was an opportunity to build trust in the process for future elections and bring closure to this election so that the work on another bond plan can begin,” said the pro-bond We Choose Our Future PAC in a statement.

The bond appeared to pass by 12 votes on Election night, but the county mistakenly believed that mail ballots had been included within the early vote totals. When those were added, the bond failed by 25 votes. A November recount showed the bond passing by 11 votes, but the total number of ballots counted was 22,811, down from the 23,631 that appeared to have been cast early and on Election Day. In December, a court-ordered recount was suspended when election workers discovered a sealed, locked box containing 836 ballots. PACs supporting and opposing the bond package issued a joint statement attributing the confusion “a break in the ballot chain of custody procedures by the Midland County elections office and not a machine or recount committee error.”

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