SD6 “open”: The word “intent” appears to be keeping Gov. Greg Abbott (R) from ordering a special election to fill what will be the unexpired term of Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), the presumptive new member of Congress from CD29. Last month, Garcia submitted a letter to Abbott stating her “intent to resign” effective January 2.
Citing a 1996 case before the Texas Supreme Court, on which Abbott served at the time, Abbott’s office said her letter does not trigger Abbott’s authority to call a special election. Garcia’s office noted that the phrasing of her letter is nearly identical to one filed by former Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) to then-Gov. Rick Perry (R) in 2014. Perry ordered the special election less than a month later.
If Abbott does not order an election by August 24, it is doubtful that could coincide with the November general election. He could call an emergency special election shortly thereafter or wait until the May 2019 uniform election date. The latter would obviously leave the district without representation in the Senate for most, if not all, of the regular legislative session.
HD112: Annie’s List endorsed Democratic challenger Brandy Chambers. She faces Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson).
Dallas Co.: The Dallas Co. Republican Party has filed notice that it will appeal an April ruling dismissing its lawsuit to remove dozens of Democratic candidates from the ballot. The party argues that their ballot applications were invalid because they were not signed by Carol Donovan, the Dallas Co. Democratic Party chair. Defendants’ attorneys argued that the Republican Party has no standing to sue, the law does not require Donovan’s signature and the matter is moot because the primary election has already occurred. It is unclear whether the Fifth Court of Appeals would hear the case before the general election.
Harris Co.: Through eight days of early voting, not quite 55K people have cast ballots in person (20K) or by mail (35K) in the Harris Co. Flood Control District bond election. That corresponds to 2.4% of registered voters, or roughly the number of voters who participated in the Democratic runoff election earlier this year.
Dallas: The city council set a November 6 special election for the seat vacated by former council member Dwaine Caraway, who resigned last week after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges. Candidates must file by August 23, the same deadline that applies to candidates seeking local offices on the November 6 ballot. Former council member Carolyn King Arnold, who lost a re-election bid to Caraway last year, is expected to file for the seat. Information technology salesman Kebran Alexander and Dallas resident Asa Woodberry filed today (Wednesday). Arnold defeated Alexander, 78%-22%, in the 2018 Democratic primary race for precinct chair.
Odessa: With less than a week left before the filing deadline, no one has filed for three open city council seats on the November general election ballot. D3 council member Barbara Graff is term limited, while D4 and D5 council members Michael Gardner and Filiberto Gonzalez have opted not to seek re-election. However, there is a candidate for a seat that doesn’t exist. Peggy Dean is running for an at-large position voters in November will decide whether to add to the council.
South San ISD: Voters rejected the district’s tax ratification proposal, 57%-43%, after a divided board of trustees fueled rival PACs for and against the measure. Just 8% of registered voters cast ballots. It is the second tax ratification election to fail this week. On Saturday, voters narrowly rejected Magnolia ISD’s proposal by 88 votes.
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