An arrest warrant has been issued for Rep. Poncho Nevárez (D-Eagle Pass), who has been charged with a third-degree felony for possessing between one and four grams of cocaine. Nevárez was caught on surveillance video dropping an envelope containing cocaine at the Austin airport about two months ago. Nevárez, who announced last week that he would not seek re-election, said he plans to seek addiction treatment, according to the Texas Tribune’s Cassandra Pollock.

Meanwhile, former Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) announced he is “neither gauging support nor running for” Nevárez’s seat, which Gallego held for 11 terms before running for Congress. Gallego tweeted he would support Del Rio council member Rowland Garza.

Filing for the 2020 election is underway. Our Crib Sheets have up-to-date filing status of the candidates we are tracking. At least 200 candidates have already filed.

SD4: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) for re-election.

HD3: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. (R-Magnolia) for re-election.

HD7: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) for re-election.

HD28 special: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Gary Gates (R) for the runoff. The group previously supported, but did not outright endorse, Anna Allred and Tricia Krenek in the special election.

HD85: Sugar Land mechanical engineer Rob Boettcher established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton).

HD133: Houston licensed professional counselor Sandra Moore filed to challenge Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Houston). Moore unsuccessfully sought the 2018 Democratic nomination, losing to Marty Schexnayder, 56%-44%, after just missing an outright win in the primary. We missed her June announcement, so we have just added her to our House Crib Sheet.

CD15: Alamo insurance agent and business owner Monica De la Cruz-Hernandez established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) as a Republican.

CD18: Houston resident Michael Allen established a campaign committee for a potential primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston). We were unable to identify him conclusively. He is at least the sixth Democrat to take a formal step toward challenging Jackson Lee.

Houston attorney Nathan Milliron established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of as a Republican.

CD22 open: Sugar Land prosecutor Clint Morgan announced he would run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) as a Republican, and he established a campaign committee for the race. He is at least the 16th Republican to take a formal step toward running to succeed Olson.

PRES: Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro did not qualify for the November Democratic presidential debate, according to the official list released today (Thursday) by the Democratic National Committee. Castro has said he would continue campaigning, focusing resources on the  Iowa (February 3 caucus), Nevada (February 22 caucus) and Texas (March 3 primary).

Houston: The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Assoc. endorsed challenger Tony Buzbee over Mayor Sylvester Turner for the mayoral runoff. The union previously endorsed council member Dwight Boykins. It backed Turner four years ago.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC