“No criminal charges will be brought” against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) in connection with his secretly recorded meeting with Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan, Brazoria Co. Dist. Atty. Jeri Yenne (R) announced in a statement. “As repugnant as Speaker Bonnen’s actions and statements are, I do not believe there is sufficient evidence from the June 12, 2019 meeting to warrant a criminal prosecution.”

Bonnen announced on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election to the House as support among the Republican Caucus continued to erode.

The House General Investigating Committee may still act on the matter.

Early voting continues for the November 5 constitutional amendment, general and special elections. Just over 42K people have voted early in person or by mail in Harris Co. through the first four days, accounting for 1.8% of registered voters. Turnout statewide was 1.2% through yesterday (Wednesday). Turnout exceeded 2% in 49 of the state’s 254 counties, all of which now report their daily totals to the Secretary of State’s office. This new provision was included in Senate Bill 902 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)

Candidates in the three legislative special elections and local candidates, where required, must file their 8-day-out campaign finance reports on Monday.

HD96: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) for re-election.

CD13 open: Canyon government affairs professional and rancher Josh Winegarner announced he would seek the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) as a Republican. He was an aide to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) prior to becoming the government affairs director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Assoc. We previously reported Winegarner was exploring the race.

CD17 open: Hewitt real estate agent Kristen Rowin established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan) as a Republican.

CD21: EMILY’s List endorsed former Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin).

CD23 open: Former Val Verde County Judge Efrain Valdez (D) established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) as a Democrat. First elected in 2014, Valdez lost his 2018 re-election bid, falling to current County Judge Lewis Owens Jr. in the Democratic runoff, 52%-48%. He was previously mayor of Del Rio for two terms.

Fort Bend Co.: Constable Trevor Nehls announced he would not seek re-election and is exploring running for sheriff, the office currently held by his twin brother Troy Nehls. Sheriff Nehls is considering running for open CD22.

©2019 Texas Election Source LLC