Five candidates filed for the January 23 special election to fill the unexpired House term of Sen.-elect Drew Springer (R-Muenster):

  • John Berry (R), Jacksboro financial planner and former Jack County Commissioner
  • Jason Brinkley (R), Gainesville attorney and Cooke County Judge
  • Craig Carter (R), Nocona boot manufacturer who has twice unsuccessfully run for SD30
  • Charles Gregory (D), Childress retired postal employee; and
  • David Spiller (R), Jacksboro attorney and Jacksboro ISD board member.

Early voting begins Monday for this expedited special election.

HD68 is the second reddest state House district, so any runoff across its 22 counties will be between two Republicans. In 2020, Democratic nominee Patsy Ledbetter received just under 15% of the vote. She was the first Democrat to seek the seat since 2002, when Rep. David Counts (D-Knox City) was paired with Rep. Rick Hardcastle (R-Vernon), who won the matchup, 65%-35%.

Redistricting: The U.S. Census Bureau disclosed that it expects to release the first set of 2020 data on February 9, but that date may be pushed back because of “newly discovered irregularities.” This “first set” is the state population totals that are used to determine the apportionment of U.S. House seats, and it was due December 31.

The bureau seeks to send the states the data they will need for redistricting by April 1. If the same length of delay were to occur, then the data would not arrive until around May 10. The legislative session adjourns sine die on May 31.

Fort Worth: At a news conference tomorrow (Tuesday), Mayor Betsy Price is expected to announce she will not seek re-election to what would be a record fifth term. Council member Brian Byrd has said he is “in if she doesn’t run,” and council member Ann Zadeh is “seriously considering” the race. Attorney Dee Kelly Jr. and Tarrant Co. Democratic Chair Deborah Peoples are expected to run.

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