Yesterday was the filing deadline for candidates who want to compete in the March 1st Texas primary, and for those who plan to run as independents to file a statement of intent to that end.
The biggest news by the end of the day was that Trey Martinez Fischer, after eight terms in the House, will challenge Jose Menendez to a rematch for the state Senate. The two faced off earlier this year, after Leticia Van de Putte stepped down; the special election went to a runoff, where Menendez prevailed. At the time, Martinez Fischer argued that Menendez had been the beneficiary of Republican votes, which seemed plausible. Menendez had campaigned as a centrist, and though the district is left-leaning, the subsequent election of Ivy Taylor as mayor of San Antonio suggested to many Democrats that local Republican turnout efforts had been fairly successful. If Republicans support explains Menendez’ victory, that would bode well for Martinez Fischer’s prospects next year (Republicans presumably won’t vote in a Democratic primary with a hotly contested presidential race at the top of the GOP ballot). But neither candidate is a shoo-in; we can look forward to an unusually lively contest.
Regardless of who ultimately prevails, Martinez Fischer’s announcement was consequential. It means that he will no longer be in the Texas House, where he has proven himself a skillful player—and last session, in particular, a crucial one. The House is going to need a new TMF. I see several plausible contenders, but since that’s an unofficial office, none of them are subject to the filing deadline. Readers, many of you were no doubt keeping track of other filings. Please use the comments to discuss yesterday’s developments.