SC2: 334th District Judge Steven Kirkland announced he would run as a Democrat for the Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Don Willett (R), who has been nominated to the Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals by President Trump. Willett is expected to seek re-election while his nomination is pending in the U.S. Senate. Kirkland was elected to JD215 in 2008 but lost his re-election bid in the 2012 Democratic primary (39%). He was elected to JD334 in 2016 (52%). He seeks to become the first openly gay judge elected to the state’s highest court.

HD75: Ysleta del Sur Pueblo tribal empowerment director MarySue Louisa Femath formed a campaign committee and announced she would challenge Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint) in the Democratic primary.

HD113: Sunnyvale Mayor Jim Phaup formed a campaign committee and confirmed via a Tweet that he would seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale). Phaup has served as mayor since 2011 after previously serving as mayor from 1999-2009. He was unopposed for re-election earlier this year. Prior to becoming mayor, he was a Sunnyvale ISD trustee from 1996-1999. Garland attorney Jonathan Boos, who unsuccessfully challenged Burkett in the 2016 Republican primary, said in a Facebook post that he welcomed Phaup’s entry into the race. “I look forward to a robust debate on the issues,” including the vote for House speaker, Boos wrote.

SEN: North Richland Hills religious television executive Bruce Jacobson said he was “prayerfully considering” challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the Republican primary, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Bud Kennedy.

Burnet Co.: Four-term County Comm. Russell Graeter announced he would not seek re-election. At least three Republicans have said they would run for his P2 seat: Damon Beierle, Ryan Rowney and Tom Stephens.

Round Rock: Cam Scott, vice president of the Round Rock Transportation and Economic Development Board, announced he would run for the council seat being vacated by Frank Leffingwell, who is running for Williamson County Judge.

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