Round Rock nonprofit executive and author M.J. Hegar, the 2018 Democratic nominee for CD31, announced she would challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R). In a video announcement titled “(Re)Introduction” that heavily draws on her viral “Doors” video, a motorcycle-riding Hegar told the story of “something special happening in Texas” and attacked Cornyn for “shrinking out of the way” instead of leading. Hegar raised nearly $5M for her race against U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock), which she lost, 51%-48%.

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) welcomed Hegar to the primary race. “Texans should be proud that M.J. is running in 2020,” Castro’s campaign said. “The era of uncontested primaries in Texas is over. Every candidate in this race has announced on their own timeline and is making their own case to the voters.” Castro has not yet announced his 2020 plans.

In a fundraising appeal, Cornyn’s campaign also welcomed Hegar. “You thought Beto was liberal? Think again. Hegar makes him look like nothing.”

CD20: San Antonio resident Adam Jonasz established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), or run for his open seat. He did not designate a partisan affiliation.

HD44: La Vernia veterans service officer H.R. Grimm established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of Rep. John Kuempel (R-Seguin). Grimm writes the “Musings from Behind the Couch” column for the Wilson County News.

Early Voting: Turnout has been predictably light across most jurisdictions holding elections on May 4. Early voting for those election continues through April 30 in most jurisdictions.

  • Bexar Co.: Not quite 14K people have voted in person during the first two days (~1.25% of registered voters).
  • Dallas Co.: Just under 16K people have voted during the first two days (1.23%), with in-person turnout slightly higher on Monday than today (Tuesday).
  • El Paso Co.: Just under 4K people voted on Monday (0.90%).
  • Hidalgo Co.: More than 4K have voted through two days in the nine jurisdictions (~1.2%)
  • Tarrant Co.: Not quite 12K have voted during the first two days (1.06%). About a third of those voters are in Fort Worth.

Some other counties and cities reporting numbers:

  • Ector Co.: 33 people voted on Monday for Ector Co. Hospital Dist. and Odessa College boards
  • Jefferson Co.: 1,290 people voted on Monday for Beaumont, Beaumont ISD and Port of Beaumont offices/propositions (~1%)
  • Jim Wells Co.: 161 people voted through 4:30 p.m. today for Alice mayor, Alice ISD board and Jim Wells Co. ESD board
  • Nueces Co.: 46 people (1.79%) voted through two days in the municipalities of Bishop, Driscoll and Petronila.
  • Palestine: 79 people voted Monday in the municipal election, double the first-day number from 2018.
  • Parker Co.: 269 people voted on Monday in 10 jurisdictions

San Antonio: Texas Alliance for Life endorsed mayoral challenger Greg Brockhouse.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC