AG: The first criminal securities fraud trial of Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton will begin in Houston on December 11 before state District Judge Robert Johnson (D). The date had been recommended by Paxton’s legal team and agreed to by the state. That date is also the deadline for candidates to file for a place on the Democratic or Republican primary.

Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton

Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton

Paxton will first be tried on third-degree felony charges that he failed to register as an investment adviser as required by state securities laws. Depending on the outcome of that trial, prosecutors intend to try Paxton on the remaining first-degree felony securities fraud charges. Paxton was indicted by a Collin Co. grand jury nearly two years ago and pleaded not guilty to all charges. A similar federal case against Paxton was dismissed twice, most recently in March.

SD17: Katy mortgage broker Ahmad Hassan established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), likely as a Democrat. Hassan ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for CD22 in 2016, receiving 24% of the vote. He ran unopposed in the 2014 Democratic primary for Harris Co. county judge but withdrew before the general election. He lost the 2008 Democratic primary for an unexpired term for the same office, receiving 25% of the vote.

HD46: Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) are listed as “special guests” at a fundraiser for challenger Sheryl Cole, according to an email from the campaign.

CD11: Llano rancher Jennie Lou Leeder formally announced her challenge of U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) as a Democrat. Leeder unsuccessfully sought the open SD24 seat in 2016, receiving 28% of the vote.

See our 2018 Challengers page for all 210 challengers and open-seat candidates who we confirm have taken a formal step toward running for state and federal office from Texas in 2018.

Edinburg: So far three candidates have filed to succeed council member Richard Molina, who is vacating his P1 seat to challenge Mayor Richard Garcia. Attorney Richard Gonzales, citizen watchdog Fern McClaugherty and educator Jorge “Coach” Salinas have filed for spots on the November ballot. No one has yet filed for the P2 seat, including incumbent J.R. Betancourt, who has not announced his plans.

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