Early voting in person continues through Friday for the July 14 primary runoff and special elections.

Through yesterday (Monday), the eighth day of the early voting period but only the fifth or sixth day polls were open, nearly 375K people had voted in the Democratic runoff (44% by mail) and 254K people had voted in the Republican runoff (35% by mail) statewide. Statewide turnout for the runoffs was 2.3% and 1.6% of registered voters, respectively. In 2018, about 435K people voted in each party’s runoff elections, both improvements over 2016, when 376K Republican and 187K Democratic runoff ballots were cast.

Runoff reports: We covered state runoff candidates’ latest campaign finance reports here, and our Crib Sheets have been updated.

AG: First Court of Appeals Judge Gordon Goodman has stayed a district judge’s order transferring the criminal trial of Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) back to Collin Co. Last month, District Judge Robert Johnson sided with Paxton’s attorneys, who were seeking to have the case moved back to Paxton’s home county from Harris Co., where it was transferred in 2017. Paxton was indicted on felony securities fraud charges 5 years ago. A similar federal case has been dismissed twice.

Johnson, meanwhile, has recused himself from the case, after he and other Harris Co. criminal district judges were added as defendants in a bail lawsuit the day after Johnson’s ruling in Paxton’s case. Those judges are being represented by the Attorney General’s office.

CD4 open: Rockwall attorney Casey Campbell announced he would seek to become the Republican replacement nominee for former U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Heath) on the general election ballot. In a press release, Campbell said he would entirely self-fund his campaign. Republican county and precinct chairs will meet August 8 to choose a new nominee.

CD7: The campaign of Republican challenger Wesley Hunt said he raised $900K during the second quarter and will report having $1M on hand. U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Houston), who was unopposed in the primary, had $2.7M on hand entering the quarter.

CD10: The campaign of U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin) said he raised nearly $540K during the second quarter and will report having $1.2M on hand.

CD22 open: The Houston C Club endorsed Fort Bend Co. Sheriff Troy Nehls (R) in the runoff over Kathaleen Wall, citing the race as “particularly important.” Meanwhile, Wall contributed another $300K to her campaign, bringing her total to $7.8M for the cycle including a $1.5M loan reported on her pre-runoff report.

Republican Convention: The Republican Party of Texas has declined Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s request to nix its in-person state convention in Houston next week. Delegates will attend in person as planned, but many of the planned speeches from elected officials will be pre-recorded or delivered remotely, reported the Texas Tribune’s Cassi Pollock.

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