Texas Lobbyist News 2020

Election Update. The last day to register to vote in primary elections is Monday, February 3, 2020. Early voting will begin Tuesday, February 18 until February 28 and election day is Tuesday, March 3. In total, 26 Texas House members will face primary challengers and 86 will face general election challengers; 12 will face both. In the Senate, 13 members will have general election challengers, 3 of whom will have both general election and primary challengers. There will also be three special elections held on January 28 for State House Seats: District 28, the Houston-area seat recently vacated by Republican John Zerwas; District 100, the Dallas-area seat vacated by Democrat and now-Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson; and District 148 in Houston, vacated by Democrat Jessica Farrar.

Below are the most recently-reported fundraising results for candidates in some of the competitive House elections around the state, for the period covering July 31- December 31. Fundraising numbers for all candidates are available at the Texas Ethics Commission.

  • In House District 45, between San Antonio and Austin, Democratic incumbent Erin Zwiener raised $109,467 while her primary opponent, Liliana Posada, did not report any contributions. Three Republicans will run in the primary to challenge her: Bud Wymore, who raised $57,465, Carrie Isaac, who raised $51,686, and Austin Tally, who raised $780.
  • In House District 108, in the Dallas area, Republican incumbent Morgan Meyer raised $320,177, significantly outraising the 3 Democrats seeking to win their party’s nomination to challenge Meyer in November. Democrat Shawn Terry raised $150,000; Democrat Joanna Cattanach, who narrowly lost to Meyer in 2018, raised $76,628; Democrat Tom Ervin raise $26,628.
  • In House District 114, also in the Dallas area, Democratic incumbent John Turner raised $250,766, according to his campaign. His Republican opponent in the general election, Luisa del Rosal, reported $192,203 in contributions and has been endorsed by Governor Greg Abbott.
  • In House District 132, in the Houston area, incumbent Democrat Gina Calanni raised $82,002. The two Republicans vying to challenge Calanni in the general election, Angelica Garcia and Mike Schofield, posted similar figures with $28,045 and $27,400 in contributions, respectively. Garcia has also been endorsed by Governor Abbott.
  • In House District 135, in the Houston area, incumbent Democrat Jon Rosenthal raised $70,841.59. Republican Justin Ray reported raising $52,666; his opponent in the Republican primary, Merilee Beazley, did not report any contributions.
  • In House District 138, an open seat in the Houston area following the retirement of Republican Dwayne Bohac, three Democrats and three Republicans have filed to run. Of the Republicans in the race, Lacey Hull reported raising the most money with $50,068 in contributions; Republicans Claver Kamau-Imani and Josh Flynn and followed with $18,800 and $12,080, respectively. For the Democrats, Josh Wallenstein reported the largest fundraising numbers with $42,137 in contributions while Akilah Bacy reported raising $28,066. The third Democrat in the race, Jenifer Rene Pool, has not yet reported fundraising numbers.
  • In Senate District 27, Democrat Eddie Lucio Jr. raised $609,622.88 while his opponent in the primary, Sara Stapleton-Barrera, raised $5,384. Vanessa Tijerina, the only Republican to file for the race, did not report fundraising numbers.

Select Committee on Statewide Healthcare Costs. In December, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen signed a proclamation creating the House Select Committee on Statewide Healthcare Costs, tasked with reviewing current health care financing strategies, regional variations in the cost of care, cost transparency, and lack of competition and consolidation in the provider and insurance markets, among other issues. The select committee is also directed to study opportunities to better coordinate how public health care dollars are spent, and to identify delivery systems and sustainable financing models that can reduce costs. The committee members are:

  • Greg Bonnen, Chair (R-Brazoria)
  • Senfronia Thompson, Vice-Chair (D-Houston)
  • Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)
  • Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio)
  • James Frank (R-Wichita Falls)
  • Cody Harris (R-Palestine)
  • Cole Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant)
  • Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth)
  • Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville)
  • Christina Morales (D-Houston)
  • Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress)

The committee will meet over the coming months to make recommendations to the legislature.

Interim Committee Hearings. House Committees will meet for the following upcoming interim hearings:

  • Elections: Tuesday, January 21 in Austin
  • Redistricting: Tuesday, January 21 in Plano
  • Redistricting: Wednesday, January 22 in Arlington
  • State Affairs: Thursday, January 30 in Austin

Senate Committees will meet for the following upcoming interim hearings:

  • Joint Natural Resources & Water: Wednesday, January 22 in Austin
  • Intergovernmental Relations: Tuesday, January 28 in Brownsville
  • Business & Commerce: Thursday, February 6 in Austin
  • Transportation: February 26 in Austin

More information on committee meetings can be found here for the House and the Senate.