SD14 special: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered a July 14 special election to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), who is resigning effective April 30. Abbott declined to set the election to coincide with the May 2 uniform election, citing the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Candidates for the special election must file with the Secretary of State between April 29 and May 13. Early voting will begin June 29.

The election date enables any state candidate on the November ballot to run without risking losing their seat. Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) and former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt (D) have announced for the race. Austin council member Greg Casar has formed a campaign committee for the race. Pflugerville council member Rudy Metayer, Austin attorney Adam Loewy and Austin attorney Chito Vela are considering the race.

HD47: Former Austin council member Don Zimmerman did not seek a recount after finishing one vote behind Justin Berry for second place in the Republican primary, and he endorsed Jennifer Fleck for the runoff.

SEN: Former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell (D-Houston), who finished sixth in the Democratic primary (9%), and Michael Cooper, who finished eighth (5%), endorsed Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) over M.J. Hegar for the runoff.

CD17 open: Trent Sutton, who finished sixth in the Republican primary (5%), endorsed Renée Swann in the runoff over former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas).

CD31: Eric Hanke, who finished fifth in the Democratic primary (6%), endorsed Donna Imam in the runoff over Christine Mann.

Vote by Mail: The Texas Democratic Party has asked the Secretary of State to make the May 2 uniform election and May 26 primary runoff elections to “be held entirely by mail to avoid the risks of spreading COVID-19 at polling places and to avoid the many logistical barriers that we are likely to face as this crisis intensifies.” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he expected to make an announcement this week about upcoming elections.

Republican Convention: State party chair James Dickey said the state Republican convention will be postponed until July 13-18. The State Republican Executive Committee would need to approve the change at its April 4 meeting. The convention is currently scheduled for May 14-16.

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