The Secretary of State has certified eight independent candidates for the November general election ballot. All but one of the certified candidates are seeking congressional seats:

  • Scott Cubbler of Houston for CD2
  • Benjamin Hernandez of Houston for CD9
  • Kesha Rogers of Houston for CD9
  • Ben Mendoze of El Paso for CD16
  • Kellen Sweny of Pearland for CD22
  • Martin Luecke of Austin for CD25; and
  • James Duerr of San Antonio for CD27.

The other certified candidate, Neal Katz of Tyler, is seeking HD6, where he is the sole challenger to Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler). Our Crib Sheets have been updated to reflect these certifications.

A total of 68 candidates filed declarations of intent to run as independents by the December 2017 deadline, which means that just 12% earned spots on the ballot. This is actually an improvement over 2016, when just one of the 15 (7%) declared independent candidates was certified for the general election ballot: then-Rep. Laura Thompson (I-San Antonio).

Voter Fraud: Three Hidalgo Co. residents, including the spouse of a Hidalgo ISD trustee, were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into voter fraud in the city of Hidalgo’s 2016 runoff election. In that election, Gilbert Perez lost to incumbent council member Oziel Treviño by 6 votes and contested the result. A second election was ordered after a judge determined more than 6 votes were fraudulently cast. Treviño went on to win that second runoff. Criminal complaints allege the trio provided assistance to voters who did not need it and suggested who the voters should vote for. The investigation is being supported by the Office of the Attorney General. In a statement, Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton said, “These cases highlight the unfortunate widespread abuse of elder and disabled voters in our state.”

Meanwhile, in Webb Co., Homero Maldonado is contesting his 10-vote loss to Salvador Johnson for justice of the peace P3, alleging up to 75 people voted who should not have been allowed to cast a ballot.

Corpus Christi: Mayor Joe McComb announced he would seek re-election in November. McComb won a special election last year following the abrupt resignation of former Mayor Dan McQueen.

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