Thursday is the deadline to register to vote in order to participate in the May 5 uniform and special elections.

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke

SEN: The campaign of U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) said he raised more than $6.7M from 141K individual contributors during the first quarter of 2018. O’Rourke’s contribution total for the first quarter of 2018 exceeds his total for all of 2017 ($6.6M). He reported raising $2.3M in his pre-primary report, so O’Rourke has raised at least $4.4M since February 14. As of that date, O’Rourke had $4.9M on hand compared with $6.0M for U.S. Ted Cruz (R). O’Rourke’s campaign did not release a current cash-on-hand figure.

Excluding self-funding candidates, O’Rourke’s quarterly total is believed to be the highest for any candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas in at least four decades. Keep in mind that federal candidates must adhere to strict campaign contribution limits, currently $5,400 per individual per campaign cycle, including the value of in-kind contributions.

CD5 open: Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian (R) endorsed Bunni Pounds in the Republican runoff against Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell).

CD7: The Lizzie Pannill Fletcher campaign announced she raised more than $500K during the first quarter of 2018. Fletcher reported raising just over $100K as of February 14, which means she has raised nearly four times that amount since.

CD16 open: A lawsuit alleging election fraud filed against Democratic nominee Veronica Escobar and the El Paso Co. elections administrator has been dropped. The suit, filed by three former candidates including former Rep. Norma Chavez (D-El Paso), provided no specific evidence to back claims that election officials tampered with hard drives to benefit Escobar, who won the six-way race outright with 61% of the vote.

CD32: U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) endorsed Colin Allred in the Democratic runoff against Lillian Salerno. Meanwhile, Salerno challenged Allred to a series of six debates. A spokesman for Allred’s campaign said he has already agreed to six joint appearances.

SD19: The campaign of Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) announced a fourth round of endorsements, including Eagle Pass Mayor Ramsey Cantu and former Reps. Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso) and Chente Quintanilla (D-Tornillo). The seat currently held by Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) is not up for election until 2020.

Motor Voter: A federal judge has ruled the state of Texas failed to comply with the federal National Voter Registration Act because it did (and does) not offer an individual the opportunity to register to vote when he or she updates a driver’s license online. Federal Judge Orlando Garcia granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment based on his reading of the parties’ briefs and replies. A full opinion will be released within two weeks.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC