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July 15, 2020      2:53 PM

SD 14 special election: Travis County clerk says 2,000 mail ballots arrived today, yet to be counted

Hat tip to Statesman reporter Chuck Lindell, who apparently had that info first. Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt remains just under 50, at 49.7% of vote, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez is in second place with 33.8%

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July 15, 2020      2:16 PM

Chairman Martinez Fischer, One Texas PAC to show $500,000 on hand after $600,000 raised so far in 2020 cycle

TMF appears to just be getting started with a foot in both worlds of HDCC and his own PAC; he previously unveiled a $100,000 investment in the THDCC

It’s a campaign finance day with semiannual reports trickling in – QR’s James Russell will have a fuller rundown later – one thing that stood out in the morning haze after the election is the fundraising haul of Chairman Trey Martinez Fischer for his One Texas PAC.

He’s got $500,000 cash on hand in the PAC after raising $600,000 so far this year.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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July 15, 2020      2:13 PM

Video: MJ Hegar out with general election ad arguing the US Senate race is already in full swing

Video starts out as a positive piece on Hegar, then shifts gears previewing the attacks on the incumbent to come in the general

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July 15, 2020      12:13 AM

Update out of Houston: Chairman Dutton defeats challenger Jerry Davis 52.32% to 47.68%

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July 14, 2020      11:40 PM

Eckhardt now staying below 50%, looking at runoff with Rep. Rodriguez in SD 14 special

"We are encouraged by tonight's results and are anxious to see every vote counted. Whether we win with or without a runoff, I am looking forward to serving the people of Senate District 14," Eckhardt said

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July 14, 2020      11:22 PM

In Fort Bend County, Jacey Jetton wins Republican nomination for Texas House seat being vacated by Rep. Rick Miller

Jetton beat Matt Morgan, 52%-48%

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July 14, 2020      11:11 PM

Rep. Eastman concedes to Penny Shaw in Houston Texas House runoff

Shaw had the backing of former Rep. Farrar for the seat she held until recently

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July 14, 2020      10:21 PM

Sen. Lucio appears to win with about 53%

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July 14, 2020      10:09 PM

Update: Glenn Rogers defeats Jon Francis for Texas House District 60, 51.5%-48.5%, a margin of 678 votes

Note: Former Chair Jim Keffer did commercials for Rogers in the final push

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July 14, 2020      9:54 PM

Sarah Eckhardt is barely avoiding a runoff with 50.5% with all of Bastrop County numbers in and an unclear number of Travis County precincts reporting. Rep. Rodriguez in second with 34%

Hat tip Jeff Blaylock for the maddening situation out of Travis County

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July 14, 2020      9:21 PM

With some election day numbers coming in, Chair Dutton leads Jerry Davis by 348 votes


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July 14, 2020      8:48 PM

With only one county still out, Shackleford County, Glenn Rogers leads Jon Francis 50.03% to 49.9%

Rogers carried Shackleford in the first round of voting, by the way

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July 14, 2020      7:48 PM

With 36% of precincts reporting, Dr. Sheffield trails Shelby Slawson about 60% to 40%

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July 14, 2020      7:42 PM

Travis County early vote: In HD47 Justin Berry leads Jennifer Fleck 55% to 45%

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July 14, 2020      7:26 PM

Harris County early vote: Shaw leads Rep. Eastman by 6 votes

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July 14, 2020      7:25 PM

Hood County early vote: In Texas House District 60, Francis leads Rogers 59% to 41%

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July 14, 2020      7:21 PM

In early vote, Chair Dan Flynn trails Byron Slaton 36% to 63%

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July 14, 2020      7:17 PM

In early vote, Sen. West trails MJ Hegar 58% to 41%

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July 14, 2020      7:15 PM

In GOP runoff to take on Rep. Zwiener, Carrie Isaac leads Bud Wymore 60.86% 39.14 % in Hays County early vote

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July 14, 2020      7:12 PM

SD19 Democratic runoff, early vote has Gutierrez 56%, Rodriguez 44%

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July 14, 2020      7:10 PM

For House seat being vacated by Rep. Rick Miller, Jacey Jetton leads Matt Morgan 52% to 48% in early GOP vote

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July 14, 2020      7:08 PM

In early vote, Chairman Dutton leads Jerry Davis 52% to 48%

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July 14, 2020      4:28 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick Reports $15.4 Million cash on hand

The Senate's presiding officer says he "suspended fundraising for several months earlier this year, which makes me even more grateful for another record breaking fundraising report."

Lt. Gov. Patrick’s full statement on fundraising is here.

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July 13, 2020      4:24 PM

Having exhausted legal remedies, the Texas GOP left with no choice but to take its convention online

“The facility is no longer available due to the rulings in the Harris County District Court and the Texas Supreme Court today,” said RPT General Counsel Wade Emmert. The SREC will convene at 7pm tonight to "vote on moving the State Convention online,” said RPT Chairman James Dickey.

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July 13, 2020      4:23 PM

With a history of fighting off primary challenges, Dr. Sheffield stares down his first runoff

Challenger Slawson, backed by Commissioner Miller and Sen. Fallon, carried Election Day; now the rural district considers whether it’s a good idea to fire a country doctor in the middle of a pandemic

Rep. Dr. J.D. Sheffield of Gatesville hasn’t run in an uncontested primary in House District 59 since 2010 when he ran against and lost to former Rep., now Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller. In 2012, he ran again, beating Miller, who remained a foil for the chamber’s sole osteopath long after Miller ascended to high office.

Rep. Sheffield was one of the few Republican incumbents to face two primary challengers this cycle. Attorney and former Erath County Judge candidate Shelby Slawson and businessman Cody Johnson, both of Stephenville, jumped into the race. Slawson solidified support from the party’s right flank, including Commissioner Miller, Sen. Pat Fallon of Prosper, Texas Right to Life, Young Conservatives of Texas, as well as Dallas hotelier Monty Bennett.

Slawson beat Sheffield in the rural district’s eight counties. Johnson won none.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By James Russell

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July 13, 2020      9:07 AM

Texas Supreme Court rejects Republican Party of Texas bid to reinstate the contract for an in-person convention in Houston

The court also denied a petition from Dr. Steve Hotze, who was also trying to get the City of Houston to honor the contract nixed last week by Mayor Sylvester Turner. Hat tip to Statesman reporter Chuck Lindell for the latest info

The court agreed with the state, arguing against the Republican Party of Texas, that the situation doesn’t warrant the court stepping in. Here’s the majority opinion. Justice Boyd did not participate. Justice Divine issued this dissent.

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July 10, 2020      12:06 PM

People on the Move

The Finance chair unveils her team for next session, a big shakeup at a major trade organization, and more

Feels more like Texas politics lately, doesn’t it?

Candidates are clashing even if they can only bash each other virtually, the Republican Party of Texas is suing the City of Houston in “virtual court” to be able to meet in-person, and local GOP executive committees are treating Gov. Greg Abbott like he’s Joe Straus or something.

Hey, that anger was going to transfer to someone eventually wasn’t it? And it probably doesn’t help Montgomery County’s last-minute bid to host the RPT convention that Republicans there were some of the latest to support the censure of Abbott.

Meantime, this is sort of an abbreviated edition of People on the Move. There weren’t too many announcements to pass along this week but the ones we received are key. Thanks for always letting me know what’s up at ksbraddock@gmail.com. If you use POTM in the subject line, it is easier to keep it all together.

Thanks and here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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July 10, 2020      11:27 AM

In Houston during pandemic, Democratic runoff between Eastman and Shaw becomes acutely focused on needs of residents

Constituent services is paramount in legislative races headed into next week’s showdown; for Eastman vs Shaw the money is charters, teachers, trials, and labor

HOUSTON – As coronavirus cases have surged in Harris County, one of hottest of hot spots in the state, candidates for Texas House District 148 have had to find innovative ways to communicate with an electorate genuinely concerned about the outbreak.

Rep. Anna Eastman, the Houston Democrat who succeeded former Rep. Jessica Farrar, has been on the ballot four times since she announced her campaign last year. Her opponent in the runoff is attorney Penny Shaw, who has been on the ballot three times.

After sitting out the first round of voting, Farrar is supporting Shaw now.

Rep. Eastman talked to Quorum Report about the realities of running a campaign during a pandemic.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Andrew Turner

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July 9, 2020      10:58 PM

Denton County GOP executive committee votes 40 to 10 to censure Gov. Abbott

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July 9, 2020      5:13 PM

Serious questions surface about $132 million in proposed cuts at HHSC during a pandemic

Rep. Sarah Davis writes “These proposals are the exact opposite of responsible or prudent, but they are fortunately not final"

Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, has sent a five-page letter to the Health & Human Services Commission questioning the agency’s proposed $132 million in cuts.

Budget shortfalls are to be expected this year around the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. States are slashing employee pay raises, pausing the expansion of health care services and slashing education grants, according to reports gathered by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked for across-the-board 5 percent cuts from state agencies, excluding some essential services and local education spending.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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July 9, 2020      3:40 PM

TDLR up first for this Sunset review cycle

The agency has “generally incorporated new programs successfully” but “its ability to take on additional responsibilities without jeopardizing the quality of service to licensees and the general public is not limitless…in fact, evidence of increased burdens is beginning to show.”

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will kick off the current cycle of agency Sunset reviews going into the upcoming legislative session.

For some, this may seem an obvious choice.

The last session ended with a squabble over the future of the Texas Plumbing Examiners Board. In fact, it was just over a year ago that Gov. Greg Abbott used to an executive order to declare the plumbing board was necessary to continue in the wake Hurricane Harvey.

Much has happened between then and now, including the airing of a lot of concerns and questions around licensing in Texas.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Kimberly Reeves

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July 9, 2020      2:38 PM

RPT files suit against City of Houston over convention cancellation

RPT Chair Dickey says “Our objective is that the courts will hear and rule in our favor in time to open up the George R. Brown Convention Center Monday morning so that we may safely begin our vital work"; Abhi Rahman with the TDP says "Republicans should be thanking Mayor Turner, not suing him."

Here is the suit. Interesting to note the attorneys include Rep. Briscoe Cain and SREC member Warren Norred.

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July 8, 2020      10:00 PM

Updated: Houston Mayor Turner puts a stop to RPT in-person convention, Texas GOP exploring legal options

An emotional Mayor Turner points to the life story of his own mother who worked as a maid during events like the one slated for next week; Chairman Dickey says “We are prepared to take all necessary steps to proceed in the peaceable exercise of our constitutionally protected rights.”

After previously saying he would not interfere with the Republican Party of Texas’ in-person convention slated for next week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner did a quick about-face Wednesday and dropped the hammer on what health experts had warned would be a “super spreader event” during a global pandemic.

In the morning, Turner ordered a legal review of the contract for the convention center and by the middle of the afternoon he had ordered the deal terminated.

RPT leadership said during the day they were exploring legal options amid Turner’s quick action. In the afternoon, many who had registered for the event told QR they were still receiving text messages about a delegate training scheduled for this evening.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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July 8, 2020      9:53 PM

Montgomery County GOP votes to censure Gov. Abbott

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July 8, 2020      3:51 PM

The Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee announces fundraising haul of $1.3 million

The HDCC said the average small dollar donation was $34. "Democrats have the added advantage of Republican lawmakers retiring in droves this year, including the Speaker of the House," they said.

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July 8, 2020      3:49 PM

Incumbents bounce back in runoffs in 8-day reports while Republicans make preferences clear in open seats

A deep dive of finances in legislative runoffs all across Texas

With the run-off elections now just under a week away, and a hot special election for a Texas Senate seat, that means one thing: 8-day campaign finance reports are in.

Here’s a deep dive.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By James Russell

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July 8, 2020      1:15 PM

Houston Mayor Turner says RPT in-person convention could be canceled as soon as today, orders contract review

Turner told City Council "The plan is to exercise those provisions to cancel this contract today. Texas GOP Chair Dickey says his legal team is reviewing whether the city can cancel now: "We are prepared to take all necessary steps to proceed in the peaceable exercise of our constitutionally protected rights." Developing...

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July 8, 2020      8:11 AM

Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick had planned to speak to the RPT convention virtually

Announcement was made during a townhall that was streamed by the party last night. Despite that announcement, Lt. Gov. Patrick still intends to be there in person, his spokesman says

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