Uresti Verdict: Jurors found Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) guilty of all 11 felony counts including wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a bankrupt frac-sand company and its executives. A co-defendant was also found guilty. He has maintained his innocence throughout and is expected to appeal the verdict.

Sen. Carlos Uresti

Sen. Carlos

U.S. District Judge David Ezra is expected to sentence Uresti and Cain in late June. Uresti also faces a May criminal trial on unrelated felony charges of bribery and money laundering. The State Bar of Texas may also seek to suspend Uresti’s law license.

Uresti is not up for re-election until 2020 and has no plans to resign despite a statement from the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus calling on him to step down. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) relieved Uresti of his committee assignments. State law permits Uresti to continue to serve until final disposition of his conviction.

Early Voting for the March 6 primary election continues until March 2. Consistent with recent history, Wednesday’s (Day Two) turnout was significantly lower than Day One, at least among the 15 counties with the most registered voters.

  • During Day Two, 20,171 Republican and 25,593 Democratic ballots in person or by mail in those 15 counties, compared to 47,029 and 49,375, respectively, on Day One.
  • 16% fewer people cast ballots in person during Day Two than during Day One. The number of mail ballots dropped dramatically, but that is caused by the fact that the Day One total included ballots received up to and including Day One. Day Two includes only ballots received on that day.
  • Compared to the same single day in 2014, Republican turnout is down 20% while Democratic turnout is up 18%. Compared to the same single day in 2016, Republican turnout is down 38% and Democratic turnout is down 2%.
  • Compared to the first two days in 2014, cumulative Republican turnout is down 9% while Democratic turnout is up 62%. Compared to the first two days in 2016, cumulative Republican turnout is down 19% while Democratic turnout is up 6%.

Just under 1.5% of registered voters in those 15 counties have cast ballots. This is up slightly from the first two days of 2014.

Turnout rebounded today in at least Harris and Tarrant Cos. In fact, more people voted in person today in Tarrant Co. than during the first day of early voting. We’ll have more on today’s turnout after all the counties report in sometime tomorrow.

Election Security: The Senate Select Committee on Election Security heard testimony from state and county officials asserting that elections records and devices are safe from hackers. In general, electronic voting machines used in the state’s elections are not connected to the Internet or to each other, making them unavailable to hackers. The Secretary of State’s office is working with federal and county officials to identify threats and take corrective actions.

SD30: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) endorsed Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) over Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).

CD7: In an unusual move, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released the equivalent of opposition research of Democratic candidate Laura Moser, who it called a “Washington insider who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress.” The DCCC posted a similar attack against a Democratic candidate running in Pennsylvania. “The days where party bosses picked the candidates in their smoke-filled rooms are over,” Moser said in a statement. “DC needs to let Houston vote.” Moser is one of several well-funded Democrats seeking to challenge U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston).

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC