Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) announced she would resign effective September 30 and not seek re-election. Farrar, who is serving her 13th term, is the 7th most senior member of the House. She is the fifth member who served during this year’s session to either announce their retirement or resign, joining former Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas), who was elected mayor of Dallas, and Reps. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), John Wray (R-Waxahachie) and John Zerwas (R-Richmond), who is also resigning effective September 30.
“Life brings change,” Farrar said in a statement, citing family health concerns and “our desire to do other things while having the good health and being of an age to be able to” them.
Farrar said she timed her announcement to give Gov. Greg Abbott (R) the opportunity to call a special election to coincide with the November 5 general election, which is also Houston’s municipal elections. Abbott has already done this for HD28.
The precincts currently comprising HD148 have been consistently 15 to 19 points bluer than the state as a whole since 2002. The average statewide Democratic candidate has fared no worse than 55%, measured head-to-head against the average statewide Republican candidate, over that period. Special elections do not necessarily follow that pattern, but a November special election at least piggybacks off the higher expected turnout from the Houston mayoral and council elections.
Republican Caucus: Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) has resigned as House Republican Caucus chair. Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) was elevated to chair from her vice chair position. The caucus bylaws stipulate that a new vice chair must be elected within 30 days.
Burrows and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) participated in a June meeting with Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan that the latter recorded. Sullivan has asserted that he was offered media credentials for the 2021 session if his group limited its primary election targeting to a select group of members. On Monday, the House General Investigating Committee asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an investigation into the meeting.
“Dustin Burrows is my friend and a strong leader for the caucus,” Bonnen said in a statement. “I respect his decision, and I remain committed to strengthening our majority.”
HD60: Granbury resident Kellye SoRelle established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury). It may be worth noting that Hood Co., home to both candidates, is located within open CD11 and Lang has been mentioned by some observers as a potential candidate for that seat.
Filing Deadline: Monday is the deadline for candidates to file for spots on the November 5 general election ballot.
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