SD2: Kendall Scudder, community services manager for a Dallas affordable housing organization, formally announced he would challenge Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) as a Democrat. We previously reported Scudder’s filing of campaign treasurer paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission.

SD19: Numerous media outlets reported that agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service took documents from the law offices of Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). The raid was part of an ongoing investigation into Uresti’s relationship with FourWinds Logistics, a bankrupt frac-sand company accused of defrauding investors. In a statement, Uresti said he instructed his “staff to fully cooperate” with investigators, adding “I will help [the investigators] in whatever way I can.” In September, Uresti amended his 2015 personal financial statement to reflect a loan from the company that he had previously disclosed in a prior-year statement. Uresti won re-election in November, 56%-40%, to a four-year term.

HD97: Fort Worth resident Seth Martin has filed paperwork establishing a campaign account to challenge Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth). A Fort Worth digital marketer with the same name has Instagram and Twitter accounts consistent with a Democratic candidate-to-be.

HD112: Garland resident Brandy Chambers has filed paperwork establishing a campaign account to challenge Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Garland).

CD7: Houston businessman David Balat filed paperwork to challenge U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston) in the Republican primary. A campaign kickoff is scheduled for March 9.

Top-two Primary: Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) filed a bill that would replace the state’s partisan primary and nominating convention system with a top-two primary that would advance the two highest vote-getters to the general election regardless of party. House Bill 1996 would exempt party officers and presidential nominees from this requirement.

Four states – California, Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington – use some form of a top-two primary.

While Anchia’s bill would open the primaries to voters of all parties, other bills filed so far this session would limit primary participation to voters affiliated with those parties. Voters with no partisan preference would be barred from participating in any primary or nominating process under identical bills filed last month by Reps. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) and Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving).

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC