The runoff in the SD-4 special election has been set for Aug. 5, with early voting scheduled for the prior week, July 28-Aug. 1.

State Reps. Brandon Creighton and Steve Toth qualified for the runoff election, with the winner to serve out the remainder of former state Sen. Tommy Williams' term. The Woodlands Republican resigned his seat in October.

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The Texas Ethics Commission voted on Thursday to hold a formal hearing June 25 in its investigation of Empower Texans and its president, Michael Quinn Sullivan. The hearing, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., is expected to last all day. The commission also gave Sullivan until June 13 to produce documents. The hearing and subpoena focus on the complaint that Sullivan was an unregistered lobbyist for the 2011 session.

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Empower Texans has been fighting in various legal venues to quash those subpoenas for documents, so it would not be surprising if the group asks a judge to forestall that deadline.

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We're reserving judgment on just how creative this is, but the Democratic candidate for comptroller, Mike Collier, is calling on the current comptroller, Susan Combs, to give the contents of her campaign war chest to charity. According to her most recent campaign finance filing, that amounts to a cool $6.5 million.

Collier is, of course, aiming to get something out of the effort as well. His plea to Combs comes in the form of a petition in which those interested in asking Combs to act will leave a name, email address and ZIP code with the Collier campaign.

"We can take $6 million in special interest money out of Texas politics all at once," Collier tells his supporters. "Join us today and let’s get it done!"

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You might know by now that Susan Motley won the Democratic primary runoff for the western Dallas County-based HD 105. What you might not know that she is a member of the Texas Organizing Project, the liberal advocacy group that has become one of the state's most prominent organizers on the left.

In fact, Motley is the first TOP member to win an electoral campaign. The significance here is that HD-105 is one of the few swing districts in the Texas House. So if you're looking for a race that could potentially get expensive, this one is a good candidate because of its potential to become a proxy way between a TLR-supported Rodney Anderson (he was endorsed by the group in his 2010 state House bid) and a TOP-backed (read: Steve Mostyn-funded) Motley.