Voter ID: The Senate gave final approval to Sen. Joan Huffman’s (R-Houston) bill to update the state’s Voter ID law, conforming it to a recent judicial order requiring an option for voters who are impeded from obtaining one of the required identifications.
GOV: Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed he would seek re-election in 2018 while speaking to the Dallas Regional Chamber. Abbott reported raising more than $9 million during the last six months of 2016 and had more than $34 million on hand as of December 31.
SD8: Dallas Co. Republican chair Phillip Huffines announced via email to Collin Co. supporters that he will seek the Senate seat likely being vacated by Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano), who is expected to seek the Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Plano). Huffines plans to move into the Collin Co.-based district.
He could be required to resign his chairmanship pursuant to Sec. 161.005, Election Code, which provides that a party chair must be a qualified voter of the county (requires Dallas Co. residency) and not a candidate for elective office. Filing a campaign treasurer appointment does not make someone a candidate, but other campaign activities – such as holding oneself out as a candidate – could trigger the requirement.
Reps. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) and Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) are also considered by many observers to be potential candidates. In a Facebook post, Leach said he would “continue to listen to counsel from the many local citizens, constituents and friends who have urged me to move forward” on a Senate campaign.
HD133: Houston attorney Martin Schexnayder has filed paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential challenge to Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston). We were not able to determine his partisan affiliation.
Stockman Indicted: Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Clear Lake) and an associate were indicted on 28 counts of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, making excessive campaign contributions, money laundering and filing a false tax return. Last week, a former staffer pleaded guilty to related charges.
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