Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) issued a joint statement indicating “they have reached an agreement” on Senate Bill 7 by Hughes, the session’s most significant election bill. The statement did not contain any specifics as to what provisions would be contained in the final bill.
As of 9 p.m. today (Friday), the conference committee report does not appear to have been filed. Tomorrow (Saturday) is the deadline for conference committee reports to be printed and distributed to all members to be eligible for further consideration. These reports must include final bill language, an analysis detailing how the final bill differs from each chamber’s version of the bill and a fiscal note. The latter two items depend upon the first being completed. It was unclear whether that had occurred prior to the statement being issued.
The Dallas Morning News’s Lauren McGaughy reported Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches), a member of the conference committee, said they were waiting on revisions, which would be shared with all 10 conferees before it is signed. At least three conferees from each chamber must sign the report. Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg), also a member of the conference committee, tweeted that he expected to “receive an official draft shortly.”
Early voting continues in local jurisdictions holding June 5 runoff elections. Early voting concludes on Tuesday.
LAND: San Antonio media strategist and former Texas Real Estate Commission member Weston Martinez (R) reauthorized his campaign committee to enter what is expected to be an open race for Land Commissioner. Martinez lost a 2018 primary challenge of Railroad Comm. Christi Craddick (R), 76%-24%, and unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for an open seat on the commission, finishing fifth with 10% of the vote. In 2020, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Bexar Co. Commissioner P3 (10%). Austin attorney Lesli Fitzpatrick also has a campaign committee for the race. Incumbent Land Comm. George P. Bush (R) is expected to challenge Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R).
SC3: Justice Debra Lehrmann (R) announced she would seek re-election to a third term. She finished second in a tight six-way Republican primary in 2010, eking out a runoff spot over Jim Moseley by fewer than 1K votes. She went on to defeat former Rep. Rick Green (R-Dripping Springs) in the runoff, 52%-48%, before winning the general election with 60% of the vote. In 2016, she won a close primary race over Michael Massengale, 52%-48%, and the general election with 55% of the vote. Fifth Court of Appeals Justice Erin Nowell (D) has established a campaign committee to challenge Lehrmann.
SD9: Carrollton council member and attorney Salman Bhojani announced he would challenge Sen. Kelly Hancock (R) as a Democrat. Bhojani, a Pakistani-American and first non-White to be elected to the Carrollton council, did not seek re-election this year and will serve until the winner of the June 5 runoff is sworn into office.
2018 Democratic nominee Gwenn Burud welcomed Bhojani’s candidacy. “We’ll be joining you in a few weeks,” she tweeted. Burud, who received 46% of the vote against Hancock, has scheduled a campaign kickoff event for June 21.
CD21: Boerne physician Robert Lowry established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin). Lowry unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for CD23 in 2014 (19%) and 2010 (22%).
Mesquite: Council member and former Rep. Robert Miklos (D-Mesquite) announced he would not seek re-election. He was first elected to the council in 2017.
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