The filing deadline for a spot on the 2018 primary ballot has passed, but the candidate rosters are not yet finalized. The parties have until Tuesday to submit their final certified candidate lists to the Secretary of State.

CD27: The Republican Party of Texas has filed suit in federal court to have U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R-Corpus Christi) name removed from the Republican primary ballot. Farenthold announced he would withdraw from the race, and subsequently filed paperwork withdrawing as a candidate, after the statutory deadline to be removed from the ballot. The suit claims the requirement to keep him on the ballot violates the party’s First Amendment rights to free speech and free association.

Section 172.052, Election Code provides that a candidate may “not withdraw from the general primary election after the first day after the date of the regular filing deadline.” Section 81.112(a)(4), Texas Administrative Code provides that the state party “the chair shall submit a candidate’s information and a notation concerning the candidate’s status for all candidates who filed” to the Secretary of State by the eighth day after the filing deadline.

The suit claims that this incongruity prevents the “possible and practical” action of omitting Farenthold’s name from the ballot. Effectuating Farethold’s withdrawl “will not harm – or even impact – the Secretary of State’s ballot preparation activities.” The suit further argues that state law “cannot constitutionally force any political party to be represented on the primary election ballot by a candidate with whom it does not with to associate.”

The suit seeks declaratory judgment that Section 172.052(a), Election Code is unconstitutionally overbroad.

Danny Valdez


Rep. Tracy King

Rep. Tracy

HD80: Former Webb Co. Judge Danny Valdez told us he “was left off the ballot due to a technicality which we will be challenging in court.” Valdez announced in October that he would challenge Rep. Tracy King (D-Batesville) in the Democratic primary, and Valdez posted a photo of him signing his candidacy paperwork to his campaign’s Facebook page on November 21. That paperwork was apparently sent to the wrong mailing address. His social media activity indicates he has been campaigning steadily ever since. Valdez was elected county judge in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 before being defeated in the 2014 Democratic primary (35%). Prior to becoming county judge, Valdez served six terms as a Webb Co. justice of the peace.

AG: Candidate Jamar Osborne appears on both the Green and Libertarian Parties’ lists of candidates who filed for Attorney General. Osborne was the Green Party’s nominee in 2014. Libertarian Party Chair John Wilford told us his party was “exploring the legal implications” of Osborne’s apparent dual candidacy. We will list his political party as “to be determined” on our Crib Sheet until we receive further guidance from the parties.

SD17: Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Missouri City attorney and Republican primary challenger Kristin Tassin to the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education for a term that expires in early 2019. Tassin is running against Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

HD72: The announced primary challenger to Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) missed the filing deadline and will not be on the primary ballot. Lynette Lucas announced she would challenge Darby in August, but she failed to file on time. “It’s unfortunate that one piece of paper and a $750 check kept accountability from happening in March,” Lucas said in a statement.

CD6: The Republican Party of Texas has rejected the application of Crowley resident Craig Walker for a spot on the primary ballot for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis).

Copperas Cove: Marc Payne, a former economic development corporation chair, won a special election for the P6 council seat over former Mayor John Hull, 64%-36%.

Round Rock: Hilda Montgomery won a three-way special election for city council with 56% of the vote, defeating rivals Hollis Bone (42%) and John Montgomery (2%). The election was nonpartisan, but Montgomery was supported by a number of local Democrats. Bone’s support was mostly Republican.

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