AG: Austin attorney Justin Nelson announced he would challenge Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) as a Democrat. Nelson founded the group One Nation One Vote, which seeks to elect the president by popular vote. Lubbock attorney John Gibson, who was mulling a challenge, endorsed Nelson. Travis Co. Democratic Party chair Vincent Harding is also considering the race and is expected to decide on a run just before the December 11 filing deadline.

AGRIC: Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) announced he would seek re-election and released a list of 100 endorsements, including musician Ted Nugent, his campaign chair and treasurer, and former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Miller’s announcement likely means that Austin attorney and lobbyist Trey Blocker will not run. Blocker was expected to run only if Miller were asked to join the administration of Donald Trump.

RRC: Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed chair Christi Craddick (R) for re-election.

Justice Don Willett

Justice Don Willett

SC2: Justice Don Willett’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for November 15. Willett is President Trump’s nominee for a vacancy on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It is unclear whether a full Senate vote on Willett’s nomination will occur prior to the December 11 filing deadline. WIllett is up for re-election in 2018. Former Rep. Rick Green (R-Dripping Springs) has announced his plans to run if Willett is confirmed.

SC6: Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed Justice Jeff Brown (R) for re-election.

House Speaker: The Republican Party of Texas has issued a form, labeled as a State Republican Executive Committee Directive, for its House candidates to indicate whether they will “commit to supporting the Republican speaker candidate who wins the majority of the votes in the Republican Caucus.” In a tweet using the hashtag #LeadRight, state party chair James Dickey said, “It is critical that our Representatives in the Texas House stand unified!” The only officially declared candidates are Reps. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and John Zerwas (R-Richmond), but others are exploring the race. Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) is not seeking re-election.

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