Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) announced he would not seek re-election.
“We are humbled and honored to have represented you in the Texas House for over a decade,” Larson said in an email to supporters. “As a strong proponent of term limits, [I] will follow the limits we previously proposed.” Larson has filed several bills that would cap legislative service at 12 years. He was first elected in 2010 and has been re-elected five times.
He becomes be the 15th House member elected to the 87th Legislature who will not be returning. Reps. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and James White (R-Hillister) are seeking other offices. Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) is exploring a run for mayor. Reps. Ben Leman (R-Iola), Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), Jim Murphy (R-Houston), Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), 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.
Former San Antonio council member Elisa Chan, who previously indicated she would seek the seat if Larson retired, announced her candidacy. Former Bexar Co. Dist. Atty. Nico LaHood – a Democrat while in office – is considering running as a Republican. San Antonio businessman and State Republican Executive Committee member Mark Dorazio previously established a campaign committee for the race, and San Antonio transport logistics business owner Adam Blanchard announced his intention to seek the seat as a Republican. Chris Fails, Larson’s 2018 primary challenger, said he would not seek the seat and instead endorsed Dorazio.
Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Blanchard.
HD50 open: Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock) announced he would “move back to HD50 – where I grew up – to run for the seat being vacated by my friend Rep. Israel.” Talarico released a slate of early endorsements including Reps. Sheryl Cole (D-Austin), Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) and Donna Howard (D-Austin); Austin Mayor Steve Adler; former Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin); and neighboring Reps. John Bucy (D-Cedar Park) and Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood).
Pflugerville council member and attorney Rudy Metayer announced the formation of an exploratory committee for the seat being vacated by Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin). Metayer is the president of the Texas Black Caucus Foundation. A list of supporters includes Sens. Borris Miles (D-Houston) and Royce West (D-Dallas).
HD73: Dripping Springs health and wellness business owner Carrie Isaac announced she would run for HD73 as it is drawn in the plan approved by the House late last night. Isaac unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) in 2020 in HD45, narrowly losing 51%-49%, and had previously announced she would run again.
Isaac’s announcement gives Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) a choice between running against her in HD73, which includes Comal Co. and part of Hays Co., or against former Austin council member Ellen Troxclair (R) in a reconfigured HD19, which includes far western Travis Co. and all of Blanco, Burnet, Gillespie and Kendall Cos.
Redistricting: The House, working nearly all night, passed House Bill 1 by Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), the chamber’s redistricting proposal for itself. About two dozen amendments, some of which were amended, were adopted through the night.
Based on preliminary analyses, it appears the amended plan produces 86 districts that President Trump would have carried had they been in effect for the 2020 election, up from 76 currently configured districts. The Senate Redistricting Committee will hold a hearing on the House plan on Friday.
At press time, the House Redistricting Committee was hearing public testimony on Senate Bill 6 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), the congressional redistricting plan.
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