The candidate filing season, that is. The period started yesterday and runs through January 2.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Martin Frost of Arlington filed to run in the district he has represented for 25 years. Frost said he was confident a federal court will uphold existing boundaries and toss out a GOP redistricting plan approved this fall.
The Republican map, which Democrats claim violates minority voting rights, decimated Frost's heavily minority district.
"I will run for re-election even if the proposed plan is upheld and would make a decision at that time as to where I would be a candidate," Frost said.
In addition to Frost, U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, filed for re-election.
In the Legislature, Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas; Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo; Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands; Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls; and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, were among those who filed for re-election.
State Rep. Steve Wolens, D-Dallas, announced he won't seek re-election after his current 12th term, which will have spanned 23 years. State Sen. Teel Bivins, R-Amarillo, nominated by President Bush to be ambassador to Sweden, submitted his resignation letter to Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday. Bivins has served in the Senate since 1989 and is stepping down effective Jan. 12.
Officials of both political parties said they were experiencing the steady stream of filings they expected the first day.
"No surprises, but I guess we've got a few more weeks to go," said Ted Royer, spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas.
Sean Byrne, spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, said candidate filings were keeping the usual pace for a presidential election cycle, when Texas does not have a full slate of statewide candidates on the ballot.
Supporters of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean on Wednesday filed the necessary petition to get Dean on the Democratic presidential primary ballot.
Republican K. Dale Henry of Mullin filed on Wednesday for the Railroad Commission seat now held by Victor Carrillo, a Perry appointee who has announced his candidacy.
In Central Texas, Republicans Alan Askew of Wimberley, a home builder and rancher, and Martin Harry, an attorney in Buda, filed Wednesday for the Texas House seat now held by Democrat Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs. The district includes Blanco, Caldwell and Hays counties.
The GOP has targeted Rose as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House.
Rose, who filed for re-election, defeated then-incumbent Rick Green, a Republican, by 335 votes out of 38,000 cast in November 2002. This year, he was among more than 50 Democrats who boycotted the session for four days to block congressional redistricting. He upset some Democrats by voting for new limits on lawsuits.
Askew said he expects the race to cost as much as $400,000, a large sum for a rural House race.