COVID Cases and Hospitalizations Continue to Fall
New infections continue a slow and steady decline with 1,286 cases reported by the state yesterday. This is down from the 1,300 reported one week ago. Hospitalizations are remaining steady, but falling slightly as well. The state is reporting 1,147 people hospitalized with COVID illness. That down slightly from the 1,211 reported one week ago and the lowest number since mid-June.
The latest poll on the Governor’s race was conducted by Marist and was released late last week. The poll showed Gov. Abbott as the choice of 49% of the respondents compared to 45% for Democrat Beto O’Rourke. However, this poll questioned 1,266 adults age 18 and over, of which only 1,068 were actually registered voters. When the question was asked of those who say they will definitely vote, Abbott’s lead increases to a 52% to 44% margin. Full results of the poll and survey data can be found here: https://maristpoll.marist.edu/polls/the-2022-election-in-texas/
Mothers Against Greg Abbott is a PAC formed, according to the website, to ensure “their voices are heard this election … wanting change in Texas so families and communities can thrive”. The group has released several ads critical of Abbott that accuse him of insensitivity on issues affecting women and children. The latest ad, entitled “No Choice”, focuses on Abbott’s support of the state’s ban on all abortion procedures. The ad has garnered attention and is controversial, to say the least. This is the second ad the group has released on the issue of abortion. If you are curious to see the ad, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI0i_WXR2aQ
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said last week that the 49 Venezuelan migrants flown from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard in September were crime victims. Salazar said that the migrants were transported under false pretenses. Declaring the migrants as victims of a crime allows the migrants to stay in the country under a special visa so they can be available as witnesses for the investigation surrounding their transport.
The Attorney General for the District of Columbia has also opened an investigation into the transport of migrants to Washington, DC. The AG – who claims to have the authority to file both criminal and civil charges against Texas officials — said he is specifically investigating whether or not the several thousand migrants bused from Texas to the nation’s capital were deceived under instructions from Gov. Abbott.
Both Abbott and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida claim they have done nothing wrong in transporting the migrants to sanctuary cities, and feel the cities should experience what their states are experiencing with the overflow of migrants crossing the border. Texas has now sent a total of 8,200 people to Washington, 3,200 to New York City, and 920 to Chicago.
With early voting starting one week from today, President Trump announced that he will be holding a rally in South Texas this weekend. The rally will take place in Robstown, just outside of Corpus Christi. Republicans are trying to make headway in traditionally Democratic south Texas, and have targeted three Congressional districts and one state Senate district for a switch from Democrat to Republican.
Speaking of, Republicans have outraised Democrats in all three of the Congressional races in the south Texas region. In the three districts – one based in Laredo and two based in the lower Rio Grande Valley – the Republican nominees have brought in a combined $4.3 million over the past three months, compared to a $2.4 million haul for their Democratic opponents. The districts being targeted are incumbent Democrat Henry Cuellar’s 28th District, which includes Laredo in a long stretch of the border up through San Antonio; the 15th District, which is an open seat and runs in a thin line from McAllen up to east of San Antonio; and the 34th District in the Rio Grande Valley, where Democratic incumbent (in another district) Vicente Gonzalez is running for reelection against U.S. Rep Mayra Flores (R-Los Indios) who captured the seat in a June special election.
In the very heated race for Harris County Judge, Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer raised a record setting $4.9 million in the July through September reporting period in her bid to upset incumbent Democrat Lina Hidalgo. Hidalgo raised $1.1 million during the same time period. A poll done by the University of Houston in August showed Hidalgo comfortably ahead by 10 points. However, an updated poll done in early October showed public sentiment had flipped, and Mealer now is polling four points ahead of Hidalgo. Mealer has capitalized on the rising crime rates in Harris County, as well as Hidalgo’s legal and ethical troubles to make gains in the polls. Mealer also received the endorsement of the Houston Chronicle last week.
The race for Texas Attorney General is also heating up, with incumbent Republican Ken Paxton going on a strong offensive against Democrat nominee Rochelle Garza. Paxton has a new ad out that accuses Garza of being a “liberal extremist who is a lawyer for human traffickers who smuggled illegal immigrants into our country.” The ad references Garza’s service as legal counsel for two individuals accused of transporting migrants. For her part, Garza in return released her first television ad that focuses on Paxton’s defense of the state’s abortion ban. She also continues to try and bring attention to Paxton’s ongoing legal and ethical troubles regarding his federal indictment on securities fraud and an ongoing FBI investigation into alleged bribery and corruption claims.
There are a few hearings scheduled on the House side in the coming weeks, but the hearing schedule has slowed down as most members are concentrating on their reelection.
The schedule and details of all interim hearings can be found here: https://capitol.texas.gov
Early voting starts one week from today. Here are some key dates and statewide races that will appear on everyone’s ballot on November 8th.
- Early in-person voting will runOctober 24-November 4.
- Election Day isNovember 8.
- Below are the candidates who will appear on the statewide ballot:
- Greg Abbott (Republican)
- Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (Democrat)
- Mark Tippetts (Libertarian)
- Delilah Barrios (Green)
- Ken Paxton (R)
- Rochelle Garza (D)
- Mark Ash (L)
- Dan Patrick (R)
- Mike Collier (D)
- Shanna Steele (L)
- Sid Miller (R)
- Susan Hays (D)
- Dawn Buckingham (R)
- Jay Kleberg (D)
- Alfred Morison (G)
- Glenn Hegar (R)
- Janet Dudding (D)
- Alonzo Echevarria-Garza (L)
- Wayne Christian (R)
- Luke Warford (D)
- Jaime Andrés Díez (L)
- Hunter Crow (G)
Texas Supreme Court
- Debra Lehrmann (R)
- Erin Nowell (D)
- Tom Oxford (L)
- Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle (R)
- Amanda Reichek (D)
- Evan Young (R)
- Julia Maldonado (D)
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
- Mary Lou Keel (R)
- Scott Walker (R)
- Dana Huffman (D)
- Jesse McClure (R)
- Robert Johnson (D)