Reps. Celia Israel (D-Austin) and Chris Paddie (R-Marsahll) announced they would not seek re-election to the House.

“After four legislative sessions and all the special sessions that came with them, I am ready for a new challenge,” Israel said in a statement announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for a potential run to succeed term-limited Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

“The timing is right to spend more time with my family and allow my East Texas colleagues to spend time fighting for our values instead of having to make some of the tough choices required in the redistricting process,” Paddie said in a statement. Just a month ago, Paddie announced he would seek re-election.

As it is currently configured, HD9 includes six counties along the Texas-Louisiana border, running from Cass Co. to Sabine Co. Those counties are collectively about 30K short of the new ideal population of 194K. Looking at the map, one of the easiest ways to configure HD9 for the next decade is to include all of Gregg and Harrison Cos., which combined are within 0.5% of the ideal population of a district. Doing so would pair Paddie with Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview). Another option would be adding Morris and Titus Cos. (+43K) and subtracting Sabine Co. (-9K), which would put HD9 within 1.2% of the ideal population. Doing so would pair Paddie with Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) and shift HD1 farther west along the Red River, likely causing other pairing issues, including potentially pairing Hefner with Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City). A third option would be to add Bowie Co. (+93K) and subtract Panola, Sabine and Shelby Cos. (-56K), which would put HD9 within 3% of the ideal population. Doing so would pair Paddie with Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston).

Israel and Paddie become the 10th and 11th House members elected to the 87th Legislature who will not be returning. Reps. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and James White (R-Hillister) are seeking other offices.

Reps. Ben Leman (R-Iola), Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) and John Turner (D-Dallas) are retiring. Former Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie) is now in Congress, and former Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) resigned.

So far, two senators are also not returning: Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) is running for Land Commissioner, and Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is retiring.

HD10 special: Early voting continues through Friday for Tuesday’s special runoff election. Turnout increased again today in Ellis Co., bringing the three-day total to just over 3K voters.

HD118 special: Early voting continues through Friday for Tuesday’s special election. A little over 500 people voted today, bringing the three-day total to just over 1,300 voters.

The San Antonio Express-News endorsed Frank Ramirez (D).

LAND open: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) endorsed Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway).

SD24 open: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) endorsed former Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton).

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