SD19 special: The Republican Party of Texas has filed suit in a Travis Co. district court to have former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) removed from the special runoff election ballot, alleging he does not live in the district. The lawsuit claims that Gallego has not lived at the Alpine address contained on his ballot application in nearly two decades and instead lives in an Austin home owned by his wife, upon which she claims a homestead exemption.

Art. 3, Sec. 6 of the Texas Constitution provides that “no person shall be a Senator, unless he … shall have been a resident of this State five years preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen.” Section 1.015, Election Code defines “residence” as “one’s home and fixed place of habitation to which one intends to return after any temporary absence.”

Courts are generally loath to remove candidates from a ballot on the basis of residency challenges, particularly after an election has occurred for which a challenged candidate has already run. Gallego finished second to Republican Pete Flores in the July 31 special election out of an eight-candidate field. Next week, we expect Secretary of State Rolando Pablos to certify the two runoff candidates and Gov. Greg Abbott to order the runoff election.

Two SD19 registered voters are also listed as plaintiffs in the case, which was filed by former Rep. Joe Nixon (R-Houston) and Trey Trainor, who President Trump has nominated for a vacancy at the Federal Election Commission.

HD114 open: The campaign of Democrat John Turner released a letter of support signed by a bipartisan mix of 19 area business leaders and frequent political donors, including former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, insurance executive Tom Dunning, attorney Tom Luce and former energy executive Erle Nye.

CD23: The Gina Ortiz Jones campaign released a new ad, “Dreams.”

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