Early voting continues through Friday. As of yesterday, turnout in the 15 counties with the most registered voters crept past 5%. Democratic primary turnout is up 92% compared to the first eight days of 2014, while Republican primary turnout is up 15% over four years ago.

RRC: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) endorsed Comm. Christi Craddick (R).

HD9: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) endorsed challenger Garrett Boersma over Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall).

Judge Ana
Lisa Garza

Rep. Ryan Guillen

Rep. Ryan

HD31: In her 8-day-out campaign finance report (PDF), District Judge Ana Lisa Garza (D) reported nearly $88K in contributions, a reasonably good amount when one is challenging a longtime legislative incumbent in the primary. Of that amount, $51K were in-kind contributions. Typically, one would expect such contributions to be for advertising, professional services, travel or event costs. In this case, Garza reported receiving 27 separate contributions of deer semen valued between $1K and $12K each, all dated February 10. Garza is challenging Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City). Garza filed an a notice that this would be her final campaign finance report, indicating she did not expect to receive any further contributions.

SEN: In a move likely to be cheered by Democrats and panned as “fake news” by conservatives, CNN moved Texas to the “likely Republican” column from the “solid Republican” column, citing U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-El Paso) “fundraising prowess” and a trio of competitive congressional races. “Increasingly diverse Texas is slowly becoming competitive,” CNN’s Terence Burlij and Eric Bradner note. “While the odds remain stacked against Democrats winning statewide in Texas this year, O’Rourke could give the party a fighter’s chance.” Earlier this month, Gallup once again rated the state as competitive.

CD6 open: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) endorsed Ron Wright for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis).

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