This Week in Texas: August 25, 2021

Posted August 25, 2021 in The Mignon Memo

12 Days Left in the Second Special Session of the 87th Legislature

Texas House Achieves Quorum

After a roughly six-week impasse, the official business of the second special session is finally underway in the Texas House.

Monday marked the most Democrats to be seen on the House floor since July when more than 50 members left the state for Washington, D.C.

With about two weeks left on the 30-day special session clock, it’s unclear what the Legislature will be able to accomplish. Member relationships are frayed. And some Democratic members are warning the quorum could be fragile.

Special Election In House District 10 Underway

Eight candidates have filed for the special election to fill the seat of former state Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie), who is now in Congress.

Early voting for the HD-10 special election started on Monday and the special election is on Tuesday, August 31.

The eight candidates that filed to run are:

  • Scott Goodwin (Independent) of Waxahachie, who listed his occupation as “V.P. development”.
  • Kevin Griffin (Republican), a Midlothian general manager.
  • Brian Harrison (Republican), the former Trump administration official who ran in the special election for the 6th Congressional District.
  • Susan Mellina Hayslip (Republican), a Waxahachie attorney.
  • Pierina Otiniano (Democrat), an Ennis immigration attorney.
  • Matt Savino (Libertarian), who listed his occupation as “I.T. support”.
  • Clark Wickliffe (Republican), a member of the Midlothian City Council.
  • John Wray (Republican), the former HD-10 representative who decided not to seek reelection in 2020.

The most competitive candidates so far appear to be Wray and Harrison. Wray held the seat from 2015 until 2019. Harrison was the former chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Former Bush Advisor Considers Run for Lt. Governor

Former President Bush advisor, Matthew Dowd, says he won’t run against Gov. Abbott, but is stays mum on a run against Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

In an interview with Texas Monthly, Dowd says, “I describe Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton as craven, cruel, and crook. One’s craven. One’s cruel. And one’s a crook. And they need to go. I wish they had the gumption or wish they had the strength to resign after how much they failed the state. They won’t. So I’ll do whatever I can, in any way I can, to help in that.”

Only in Austin…

Austin’s only food hall finally returns with new food options — from Wu Chow, Austin Rotisserie, and celebrity chef Richard Sandoval.

Downtown Austin food hall Fareground — which had been closed during the pandemic — is finally reopening this hall with major changes to the restaurant lineup. The 111 Congress Avenue food hall will reopen on Tuesday, September 7 with four new restaurants and a flower and retail market.