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Political budgets for 2018 elections may be brighter than usual

-Raft of retirements, statewide races spurring buzz

Some Texas broadcasters may see a little more political advertising than usual this next election season because of a raft of retirements among longtime members of Congress and the Texas Legislature, as well as statewide elections for major offices ranging from Governor to various state courts. We’ll get a clearer view of what may be in the offing on Dec. 11, the end of the candidate filing period for the March 6 primary elections.

With Republicans dominating the Texas political scene, most of the activity will play out in the primary elections and may never make it on-air, but Democrats revved up by DC politics are trying to make a go of it in at least a few statewide races next November.

Most notable of these is Cong. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso who held true to his pledge to retire after four terms and is visiting communities throughout the seat in a bid to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz, then an unknown, first-time candidate, used a similar strategy to best former Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in a 2014 primary race many observers thought Dewhurst would certainly win.

Congressional races
While all 36 of the state’s Congressional seats are up for re-election, stations in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso and maybe even Tyler could see some action related to the following retirements in the primary, and the opposing parties may make a play for these seats in November:

Green’s retirement – announced just this week – is especially notable because he has been the Democratic co-author of The Local Radio Freedom Act for several sessions. The measure opposes enactment of a Performance Tax on local Radio stations. State Senator Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, already has announced that she is running to succeed him in this solidly Democratic district.

The following incumbents are viewed in some quarters as potentially vulnerable to Democratic challenges in November:

Legislative races
All 150 Texas House seats and 15 of the Texas Senate seats are in contention, but to the degree that we can rely on recent political history it’s likely that incumbents seeking re-election will have little or no opposition, meaning most campaigning will never hit the airwaves in March or November.

With Governor Greg Abbott’s endorsement of her challenger, Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, will almost certainly have a spirited primary campaign and, no matter the outcome, a November battle is very likely in this central city swing district.

TAB’s Michael Schneider will be issuing more of his TAB Members-Only popular political updates as circumstances warrant.  His first one for this season was sent Oct. 24.

And station groups can get their hands on the 2018 Edmonds Political Contact Database through TAB Associate Member Revenue Development Resources. This resource contact information for candidates, issue/advocacy groups, PACs of all sorts and their media buyers.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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