SD19 special: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered an emergency special runoff election for September 18. Early voting will take place September 10-14. Republican Pete Flores and Rep. and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) finished first and second in the July 31 special election with 34% and 29% of the vote, respectively, out of an eight-candidate field.

Abbott’s proclamation was issued shortly after District Judge Gisela Triana (D) denied the Republican Party of Texas’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented the Secretary of State from certifying the two runoff candidates. The party filed suit challenging Gallego’s residency in the district.

In a tweet, Gallego said, “Neither the facts nor the law were on [their] side today.”

Meanwhile, Empower Texans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibility endorsed Pete Flores, marking their first involvement in the race. The Senate Republican Caucus unanimously endorsed Flores. In a statement, the caucus said it was “believed to be the first endorsement ever” given by the caucus in an open or special election.

LTGOV: Democratic challenger Mike Collier has accepted an invitation to a debate from KRIV-TV in Houston. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) campaign has previously said he did not intend to debate Collier.

SEN: The campaign of U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) will run $1.3M in “positive” ads in 20 media markets beginning Wednesday for its first ad buy of the general election campaign. O’Rourke raised the money in response to a series of ads released by the campaign of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) earlier this month.

CD6 open: Visiting Judge Stephen Ables has dismissed former Democratic candidate Ruby Faye Woolridge’s lawsuit against Democratic nominee Jana Lynne Sanchez. Woolridge filed the suit in June, alleging Sanchez’s ballot application was filed with fraudulent signatures. Sanchez defeated Woolridge, 53%-47%, in the Democratic runoff. Woolridge was the 2016 Democratic nominee and received 39% of the vote in the general election.

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