The filing deadline for a spot on the 2018 primary ballot has passed, but the candidate rosters are not yet finalized. The parties have until tomorrow to submit their final certified candidate lists to the Secretary of State.

CD27 open: Federal Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin has scheduled a hearing tomorrow morning for the lawsuit seeking to remove U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R-Corpus Christi) name from the Republican primary ballot. Farenthold’s withdrawal occurred after the statutory deadline to remove his name but before the administrative deadline for the Republican Party to submit its certified list of candidates.

In a brief filed with the court, the state argued that “plaintiffs have not sued the proper party.” The defendant, Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, “has no enforcement authority” over the pertinent law, and plaintiffs cannot “trace their purported injuries to any action taken” by Pablos.

Addressing the incongruity between the deadline to withdraw and the deadline to certify candidates, the state argued that this intentional gap “serves a valuable governmental interest: preventing gamesmanship during the primary process.” The state imagines a scenario when the incumbent files for re-election, discouraging others from filing except for a chosen successor, then withdraws after the filing period closes. The gap permits a party chair to certify its candidates and complete an extended filing period if the incumbent withdraws by the first day after the filing period closes.

The case was referred to Austin by Federal District Judge Sam Sparks “for report and recommendation.”

CD5 open: Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) endorsed Jason Wright for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas).

CD6 open: The Republican Party of Texas has rejected the application of Kennedale resident Adrian Mizher for a spot on the primary ballot for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis). He is the second candidate for the seat to have his application rejected. Eleven candidates remain on the Republican primary ballot.

CD21 open: Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff (D) and former Land Comm. Garry Mauro (D) endorsed Joseph Kopser in the Democratic primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio).

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