HD125 open: Former Rep. Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) has been appointed to the Bexar Co. Commissioners Court by County Judge Nelson Wolff (D). Rodriguez took the oath of office today (Friday). He replaces the late Co. Comm. Paul Elizondo (D), who passed away last week after more than three decades in office. Rodriguez will serve until the 2020 election, at which point the voters will decide who will serve the remaining two years of Elizondo’s unexpired term. A special election will be required to fill Rodriguez’s term in the House.
SD5: In a letter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) said he will not ask to be chair of the Health and Human Services Committee in the upcoming legislative session. Schwertner, who won re-election in November, was investigated by the Univ. of Texas after a graduate student claimed Schwertner sent her illicit text messages. The university’s report concluded “available evidence does not support a finding” that Schwertner sent the text messages.
HD27: Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) was released from a Montgomery Co. jail after serving four months of a yearlong sentence in time to serve in the upcoming legislative session. Reynolds was convicted on misdemeanor professional solicitation charges in November 2014. According to the Texas Ethics Commission’s delinquent filer list, Reynolds owes more than $52K in fines for failing to file required campaign finance and personal financial disclosure forms. He has filed just three campaign finance reports since February 2016.
Partisan Gerrymandering: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two partisan gerrymandering cases in its current term. The high court will consider lower court rulings striking down congressional districts drawn by Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland. Last June, the Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling in a partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, sidestepping larger issues of whether, and at what point, a map drawn for partisan advantage violates the U.S. Constitution.
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