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Filing for the 2020 election is underway. Our Crib Sheets have up-to-date filing status of the candidates we are tracking. At least 280 candidates have already filed.

New Republican PAC: Several House Republicans have launched the Leading Texas Forward PAC to defend the party’s legislative majority. Reps. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), Four Price (R-Amarillo) and Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) are listed as the PAC’s contribution and expenditure “decision makers.” The standard form only permits the listing of five names, but other members are expected to be involved. Republican strategist Karl Rove is its treasurer. The PAC has set a $5M fundraising goal for the election cycle.

RRC: Austin oil and gas analyst Matthew Sterett announced he challenge Comm. Ryan Sitton (R) as a Libertarian. Meanwhile, Houston resident Charles R. Stevens established a campaign committee for the race. We were unable to identify him conclusively.

HD21: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Port Neches) for re-election.

HD25 open: Freeport Mayor and former Brazosport ISD board member Troy Brimage announced and filed for the seat being vacated by Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) as a Republican. Brimage, a business owner and former police officer, was first elected mayor in 2017 (59%) and re-elected in May (72%).

HD53: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) for re-election.

HD74 open: The campaign of Eddie Morales (D) announced he kick-started his campaign with a $125K loan and the endorsement of Rep. Tracy King (D-Batesville).

HD127: Humble resident Neko Antoniou established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Humble), likely as a Libertarian.

HD128: Baytown council member Robert Hoskins announced he would challenge Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) in the Republican primary. Hoskins released a list of endorsements including Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo, Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton, La Porte Mayor Louis Rigby and Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner.

SEN: “Not sure” is the runaway leader in the Democratic primary, according to a new UT-Tyler poll (PDF). Just over half of Democratic or independent leaning Democratic voters have not decided on their preferred candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R). The five candidates named – Chris Bell, Amanda Edwards, M.J. Hegar, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez and Sen. Royce West – are all within the margin of error of each other at 7%-9%, as well as within the margin of error of “someone else.”

Ethnic groups tended to be gravitating toward specific candidates. West was the top choice of 22% of African-Americans followed by Edwards (11%). Ramirez was the top choice of Hispanic/Latino voters (19%) followed by Edwards (9%). Hegar (13%) led among Anglo voters, who were slightly more likely to be undecided (57%) than Hispanics/Latinos (52%) and African-Americans (43%).

CD22 open: The campaign of Greg Hill (R) released a new ad, “Crown Jewel,” touting his law enforcement and city council credentials.

Meanwhile, an individual named Aaron Hermes (R) filed in the Republican primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land). We were unable to identify him conclusively.

PRES: A new UT-Tyler poll (PDF) suggests Joe Biden (28%), Bernie Sanders (19%) and Elizabeth Warren leading the presidential field among “Democratic voters,” followed by Pete Buttigieg (8%), Kamala Harris (5%) and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (4%). Since its September poll, UT-Tyler pollsters found the greatest upward swings belonged to Warren (+6.7%) and Buttigieg (+4.6%). President Trump leads all the potential Democratic candidates in the general election, receiving between 44.2% and 46.3% of support. Between 16% and 22% of voters are undecided.

The statewide poll of 1,093 registered voters was in the field November 5-14. It was conducted using a combination of phone calls (397) and online surveys (696). The stated margin of error is ±3.0%. The poll was conducted after former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) exited the race. He received 20% support in the September poll.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC