Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, won't seek another term in the House. If you're keeping score, he's the 21st incumbent to volunteer for civilian life after 2012. Driver still faces legal issues from double-billing his campaign and the state for travel expenses — a problem that came to light in his 2010 re-election bid. And he would face a primary opponent if he stuck around; the new redistricting maps pair him with freshman Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Mesquite.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is scooting the chairs around in his U.S. Senate campaign office. Jim Bognet will become a special adviser, working on strategy and policy. Longtime Dewhurst associate Buddy Barfield will return as campaign manager in Bognet's old spot. Kevin Moomaw returns to work on grassroots organization, and David Beckwith, a veteran at media and messaging, is back for that job.
John Raney picked up the Texas Retailers Association PAC endorsement in the special election to replace Rep. Fred Brown, R-Bryan, in HD-14. Brown quit this summer, and the election to replace him is set for next month. Raney, a Republican, is also a former retailer, having founded and operated the Texas Aggieland Bookstore. Rebecca Boenigk countered with a list of former mayors of Bryan and College Station who've endorsed her candidacy. They're in a pack of candidates that also includes Republican Bob Yancy, Democrat Judy Webb LeUnes and Libertarian Joshua Baker.
KP George is plotting a challenge to U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land. George is a Democrat, a financial planner and a naturalized citizen born in India. He'll announce soon, aides say.
Former Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis, a Democrat, is jumping into the Texas House race for HD-110, the seat now held by Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas. The incumbent plans to give up her seat to challenge U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas.
Republican Jon Cole wants a rematch with Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, in HD-67. Cole, a Plano attorney, lost narrowly in 2008 and threatened to run again in 2010 before deciding against it.
Add Republican Mano DeAyala to the list of candidates for Beverly Woolley's seat in the Texas House. Woolley announced this summer that she won't seek re-election. DeAyala, an attorney born in Houston to Cuban parents, says he raised $100,000 for the race at his inaugural event. Pam Holm, a former Houston City Council member, and Mike Schofield, a former aide to Gov. Rick Perry, have already said they'll also be after the GOP nomination.
Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, is officially running for the Texas Senate, taking on fellow Republican lawmaker Kelly Hancock, of North Richland Hills. The winner will face Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, in the general election in an HD-10 that was redrawn to favor a Republican. A funny bit of towel-snapping: Hancock earlier announced his endorsement by former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen from Shelton's turf; Shelton's list of supporters includes North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino. Shelton, a pediatrician, has some other big names on his side, including U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (who's also a former Fort Worth mayor) and Arlington Mayor Bob Cluck.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility will back Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, in the race for Florence Shapiro's Senate seat in Collin County. The group promoted his run for speaker of the House against Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, at the beginning of the year and in the months leading up to that vote. Shapiro is retiring. The group also endorsed Larry Taylor, who's running for Mike Jackson's Senate seat (Jackson is running for Congress) and Hancock of North Richland Hills, among the several Republicans trying to win the right to run against Sen. Davis next year.
Seeking re-election: Rep. Barbara Nash, R-Arlington.