As expected, the attorneys charged with prosecuting Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) have appealed a ruling sending the criminal fraud case back to Collin Co. from Harris Co., where it has transferred more than four years ago.

A divided panel of three Democratic justices affirmed a lower court’s decision to stay another court’s order setting aside another court’s order to move the case to Harris Co. The issue of venue had been pending before the First Court of Appeals for seven months before it was decided. Prosecutors have asked the full First Court of Appeals to review the matter en banc. Paxton was indicted on felony securities fraud charges nearly six years ago and has maintained his innocence throughout its long legal journey. A similar federal case has been dismissed twice.

Meanwhile, the State Bar of Texas has reportedly been required to investigate whether Paxton’s attempt to overturn other states’ elections constituted professional misconduct. The Associated Press’s Jake Bleiberg reported the complaint was filed by the president of the Galveston Island Democrats. The State Bar initially declined to take up the matter, but an oversight tribunal reversed that decision. In a statement, Paxton’s campaign called the complaint “as laughable as it is blatantly political.”

LAND open: Galveston County Judge Mark Henry (R) is considering then race and expects to decide in the next couple of weeks. Henry was first elected in 2010 and re-elected twice since.

AGRIC: During an appearance on Chad Hasty’s radio show, Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) said he is considering seeking re-election or running against Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and will decide in a couple of weeks.

SD20: Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) announced he would seek re-election.

SD24 open: Former Austin council member Ellen Troxclair announced she would seek the Republican nomination to succeed Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), who is running for Land Commissioner.

HD16: Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) announced he would seek re-election.

CD28: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) drew a potential primary challenge from Laredo community organizer Tannya Benavides. She appears to be completing a fellowship with EMILY’s List.

Census Data: Exponentially less “noise” designed to protect individuals’ privacy will be factored into the granular data used for redistricting, the Census Bureau announced. This will make the block-level data more accurate while still largely preventing efforts to use the public data to identify and characterize individual respondents.

“We are both legally and ethically bound to protect the privacy of the data provided by and on behalf of our respondents,” according to a news release. “Today’s superior computational technologies have rendered the methods used in 2010 and earlier censuses ineffective against reidentification attacks.”

The bureau expects to provide block-level data needed for redistricting in August in legacy formats. A month later, a more user-friendly format of the data will be released.

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