HD145 open: Houston council member Melissa Noriega updated her campaign committee for a potential run for the seat expected to be vacated by Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), who won yesterday’s SD6 special election outright based on unofficial results. Noriega served as a temporary acting representative during and after the 79th Legislature when former Rep. Rick Noriega (D-Houston) was deployed in 2005. Meanwhile, Houston funeral home director Christina Morales announced she would seek the seat and established a campaign committee.

PRES: Former San Antonio Mayor and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro established an exploratory committee for a possible 2020 presidential candidacy.

Cook Ratings: National pundit Charlie Cook released his initial 2020 ratings for the U.S. House of Representatives, including placing nine Texas seats outside the “solid” Democratic and Republican categories:

  • CD6 (Wright) – likely Republican, same as 2018
  • CD7 (Fletcher) – lean Democratic, was toss up
  • CD10 (McCaul) ­– lean Republican, was likely Republican
  • CD21 (Roy) – lean Republican, was likely Republican
  • CD22 (Olson) – lean Republican, same as 2018
  • CD23 (Hurd) – toss up, was lean Republican
  • CD24 (Marchant) – toss up, was likely Republican
  • CD31 (Carter) – lean Republican, was likely Republican
  • CD32 (Allred) – lean Democratic, was toss up

The most interesting of these is CD24, where U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Carrollton) was narrowly re-elected, 50%-48%. Cook had it rated as likely Republican heading into this year’s general election (as did we) and he moved it two columns over to the toss up column. It is the only Republican-held seat to shift two columns leftward in his initial ratings. Marchant’s 2016 and 2018 Democratic challenger, Jan McDowell, has already reauthorized her campaign committee for a 2020 race.

Houston: Businessman Bill King, who narrowly lost a 2015 runoff to Mayor Sylvester Turner, filed paperwork with the city secretary establishing a campaign committee for a 2019 rematch. Attorney Tony Buzbee has announced his intention to challenge Turner.

Laredo: Tomorrow – yes, Thursday – is the runoff election for mayor and three council seats. Mayor Pete Saenz faces Roque Vela Jr. D2 incumbent Vidal Rodriguez faces Jose Perez III. In open D3, Mercurio Martinez III faces Crissy Perez. In open D6, Marte Martinez faces Vish Viswanath.

Midland ISD: John Trischitti III defeated Heidi Kirk by 51 votes in Tuesday’s runoff for the D5 school board seat. Kirk was endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC