Campaign Chatter

Start in Central Texas, where the federal judges followed the Legislature's lead and put U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, in a Republican district that stretches from Hays County up to the southern border of Tarrant County. He immediately announced that he'll run in a new Latino district that runs from the eastern side of Travis County into central San Antonio. And he'll have opposition from fellow Democrat Sylvia Romo, a former Texas House member who's now the Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector. Meanwhile, Patrick Shearer, who was running in that district — it's CD-35, by the way — sent a note that he's reconsidering. "I didn't enter this race to run against Lloyd Doggett," he wrote. And two state representatives who's names got thrown into the soup — Trey Martinez Fischer and Mike Villarreal, both Democrats from San Antonio — aren't expressing any interest.

State Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, is in the CD-33 race now that that new congressional district in Dallas and Tarrant counties is on the map. He could face former Rep. Domingo Garcia, D-Dallas, who was deeply involved in the redistricting litigation that resulted in that districting being drawn. Garcia's old nemesis, Rep. Roberto Alonzo, is backing former Dallas City Councilman Steve Salazar.

• Keep state Rep. Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg, on your scratch list. He had decided not to run for re-election after the legislative session, then hinted he might be interested if the lines changed. Now that he's seen the interim maps adopted by the federal judges in San Antonio, he's a no.

• Now that CD-25 is back — that's the district Doggett is moving out of, which stretches from south of Austin all the way north to the Tarrant County border — the candidates are back, too. Former Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams is in. Chad Wilbanks, who has worked for eyars as a Republican political consultant, is in.

Elizabeth Ames Jones' resignation from the Texas Railroad Commission is official, and the two commissioners left elected Barry Smitherman to chair what is normally a three-member panel. Smitherman is still on the ballot for his commission job. Jones resigned after filing to run for a state Senate seat in San Antonio. Her opponent, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had been knocking her for claiming residency in San Antonio to run for the Senate while she should have been living in Austin to fulfill a constitutional requirement of her statewide post. Now he's targeting her salary at the Railroad Commission, saying she should return what she was paid after she moved to San Antonio and before she resigned.

• Richardson Republican Mabel Simpson is dropping her bid for the Texas House in HD-67 and says she'll endorse Jeff Leach for that seat.

Doug Blatt dropped out of the CD-22 race and endorsed KP George in that Democratic primary.

Ken Sapp is no longer on the North Richland Hills City Council. He resigned this week to concentrate on a House bid in HD-91.

• As candidates file, we'll be updating the election brackets, which you can find here.