SD29: Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) announced he would not seek re-election. He won a three-way Democratic primary for the open seat in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Rodriguez served as chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, a post he said yesterday (Thursday) that he would relinquish at the end of this year.

“It has been my privilege to serve as your State Senator for the past nine years, and preceding that, your County Attorney for over 17 years,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I will be here for you until the last day of my term, working on issues like the Census, redistricting, immigration, public education, health care, gun violence and community safety.”

The buzz is that the El Paso delegation is coalescing around Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) to succeed him. In a statement, Blanco praised Rodriguez as a “moral compass helping the state honestly address inequities.” He did not comment on whether he would seek the seat but is expected to make a decision within the next week.

HD63: Flower Mound information technology executive Leslie Peeler established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) as a Democrat.

HD67: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Allen) for re-election.

HD129: Houston resident Ryan Lee Lee Ryan established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Dennis Paul (R-Webster). Lee, a Houston firefighter, explored running for Houston city council District E but ultimately did not file for that race. Social media activity suggests he would run as a Republican. We were unable to identify the candidate conclusively.

Republican Caucus: Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston) was elected vice chair of the caucus over Rep. Andy Murr (R-Junction). Murphy was perceived to be Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s (R-Angleton) preferred candidate for the post.

CD23 open: San Antonio resident Cecil “Burt” Jones established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) as a Republican.

Note: This report has been updated to correct Ryan Lee’s name.

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