SC2: Justice Don Willett (R) was sworn in as a Judge for the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Jimmy Blacklock was sworn in as the newest Texas Supreme Court justice, succeeding Willett, who was up for re-election this year. Blacklock is unopposed in the Republican primary. Including Blacklock, seven of the 14 justices appointed to the high court since 2001 were unopposed in their first Republican primary. Only one appointee since 2001, former Justice Xavier Rodriguez, was defeated in the subsequent primary election.

SEN: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) leads U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso), 52%-34%, according to an internal poll conducted for Cruz by WPA Intelligence, which is headed by Cruz advisor Chris Wilson. About one in eight voters was undecided. Cruz’s favorability rating was 50/42 while O’Rourke’s was 14/7. Only one in three likely voters polled said they knew who O’Rourke was. The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted in mid-December. The stated margin of error is ±4%. Cruz defeated former Rep. Paul Sadler (R-Henderson), 56%-41%, in 2012.

CD6 open: The Ron Wright campaign released an initial list of endorsers.

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