HD79 open: Art Fierro, the chair of the El Paso Community College board, said he would seek the seat being vacated by Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), who announced his resignation on Saturday. Meanwhile, El Paso council member Michiel Noe, who was term-limited and could not seek re-election this year, announced he would run for the seat.

SD5: “Available evidence does not support a finding” that Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) sent illicit text messages to a Univ. of Texas graduate student, according to a publicly released executive summary from the report of the university’s investigation. In a statement, Schwertner said he does “not condone sexual misconduct of any kind” and that the “unfortunate matter is now closed.” In an unusual step, the university announced in September that it was investigating Schwertner. He won re-election over Round Rock contract manager Meg Walsh, 55%-42%, in November.

Secretary of State: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appointed David Whitley to succeed Secretary of State Rolando Pablos. Whitley was Abbott’s deputy chief of staff. His appointment will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

CD18: Republican nominee Ava Pate reauthorized her campaign committee for a 2020 challenge of U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston). Pate received 21% of the vote against Jackson Lee this year.

Corpus Christi: Mayor Joe McComb defeated Michael Hall, 60%-40%, in the runoff election to win a full term. McComb was first elected mayor in May 2017, when he won a nine-way special election outright with 52% of the vote. Four council seats were also decided:

  • D1: Incumbent Everett Roy defeated Joy Miller, 67%-33%
  • D2: Incumbent Ben Molina defeated Sylvia Campos, 60%-40%
  • D3 open: Roland Barrera defeated Eric Cantu, 55%-45%; and
  • D5 open: Gil Hernandez defeated Paul Thurman, 66%-34%.

Citywide turnout was just north of 10%.

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