- Current TX Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced his candidacy for TX attorney general, challenging Ken Paxton in the upcoming Republican primary election in 2022.
- Current State Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R–Lakeway) is reportedly looking at running for TX land commissioner, potentially joining Republican activist Weston Martinez, who is already a declared candidate in the race and promoted the endorsement of Republican TX Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
- Governor Abbott announced receiving the endorsement of former President Donald Trump last week, likely in an attempt to thwart any additional primary challengers. He is currently challenged by humorist Chad Prather and former State Sen. Don Huffines.
- The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Lt. Col. Allen West, announced his resignation, effective July 11. It has been assumed and rumored for months that he would likely be considering a run for governor or some other office.
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Race
- Since Lt. Col. Allen West resigned in the midst of his chairmanship, the election for chairman will take place between State Republican Executive Committee members, and not delegates to the state convention, on a special called meeting on July 11.
- Two individuals have already announced their candidacy for the position. Former State Rep. Matt Rinaldi announced his candidacy via Twitter. Current SREC member and president of the Republican County Chairmen’s Association David Covey also announced his candidacy.
Upcoming Special Sessions
- One special session likely between mid-July and mid-August to address election integrity and bail reform, as well as another in the September/October timeframe to address redistricting and the use of federally allocated monies in wake of COVID-19.
Status of Legislative Priorities (Reference)
- Only one bill related to election integrity that was endorsed by the Republican Party of Texas made it to Gov. Abbott’s desk. HB 574 – State Rep. Greg Bonnen (R–Friendswood) – Created a criminal offense and penalty for illegal voting. Gov. Abbott signed last week, and it will be effective September 1.
- Four bills related to religious freedom that were also endorsed by the Republican Party of Texas made it to Gov. Abbott’s desk. HB 525 – State Rep. Matt Shaheen (R–Plano) – Designates religious organizations and their activities as essential at all times. HB 1239 – State Rep. Scott Sanford (R–McKinney) – Prohibits the suspension of current laws that protect religious freedom and prohibits the closures of places of worship in times of emergency and disaster. SB 797 – State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola) – Requires the display of the national motto “In God We Trust” in all public schools and colleges/universities. HCR 1 – State Rep. Phil Stephenson (R–Wharton) – Emphasizes the Legislature’s support for prayer, use of the word “God” at public gatherings, and display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and other government buildings.
- HB 1280 – State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R–Southlake) – Prohibition of abortion; “Trigger bill” in the event the Supreme Court of the U.S. overturns or rescinds Roe v. Wade. Currently awaiting Gov. Abbott’s signature.
- HB 1927 – State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler) – Constitutional carry. Currently awaiting Gov. Abbott’s signature. He has previously indicated he would sign in.
- Gov. Abbott has until Sunday, June 20, to sign or veto bills passed during the regular 87th Legislative Session.
- Texas Lawmakers Chose to Not Protect Free Speech
- The Legislative Saga Surrounding Gender Modification Bills
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