The filing deadline for next year's elections passed on Monday. ((12/11)) it seems like there's a little slice of something for several different groups. Some examples:
• LEGACY – "My dad won an upset election and beat a Republican governor, so I'll try too." Andrew White of Houston, 45, the son of the late former Democratic Gov. Mark White, announced Thursday that he'll join the crowd seeking the Democratic nomination against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's re-election.
White's dad Mark, who died in August at 77, was the next-to-last Democrat elected governor, in 1982. He upset Republican Bill Clements to win the job -- part of the last Democratic sweep of every statewide office up for election.
In 1986, Clements returned the favor, and ousted White. In 1990, White made another try, but ran third in a bloody Democratic primary – behind then-Attorney General Jim Mattox, and State Treasurer Ann Richards> Richards went on to be the last Democrat elected Texas governor.
• FIRST EVERYTHING – Another of the eight or so Democratic candidates vying with White for the nod to take on Abbott is Lupe Valdez of Dallas. The 12-year Dallas County sheriff gave up her job to run.
A 30-year U.S. Army veteran, Valdez, 70, the first known lesbian Latina sheriff in the nation, would also be the first in several categories, including Latina, to be Texas governor.
Supporters hope she'll boost Hispanic and female turnout.
WHO'S YOUR GRANDPA? – No more on-the-job training for Republican Land Commissioner (and presidential nephew and grandson) George P. Bush, says Jerry Patterson. A former state senator who fathered Texas' concealed handgun law before serving 12 years as Land Commissioner, Patterson thinks Bush has bungled the job.
Bush, 41, the latest George Bush elected to office in Texas, has run off some good people in the agency, and is messing up on refurbishing the Alamo, Patterson charges. So he'll contest Bush's GOP re-nomination.
Patterson, 71, says he's been enjoying retirement, but spent four months trying to get someone to take on Bush. He finally gave up and decided to do it himself.
He left the job to run in 2014 for lieutenant governor, against incumbent David Dewhurst, plus state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston, and Agriculture Commissioner and former state Sen. Todd Staples of Palestine.
Patterson ran fourth. Patrick stomped Dewhurst in a runoff.
• THAT'S MY SEAT – Another hopeful comeback kid is former 16-year State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, 47. Fischer lost a 2015 special election for the San Antonio state senate seat Leticia Van de Putte gave up to run for mayor of San Antonio, to fellow State Rep. Jose Menendez.
So then Martinez Fischer gave up his own House seat for a re-match with Menendez in the 2016 Democratic primary. He lost that one, too.
So now, he's trying for a return to the District 116 House seat that he'd given up. But Rep. Diana Arevalo, 36, who has worked a lot in Democratic politics in San Antonio, was unopposed in either the Democratic primary or general election in 2016, apparently isn't intimidated. She's filed for re-election.
• AND THEN, THERE'S CONGRESS – An unanticipated bonanza of seven congressional seats without incumbents seeking re-election has produced a flood of candidates. And, Democrats have lined up to run in the three congressional districts currently held by Republicans, but were carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
• UP JUMPED THE DEVIL – A congressional race that hadn't particularly been on the radar a few weeks ago – the 27th district, currently held since 2011 by Republican Blake Farenthold, 56 – is suddenly a hot potato. The reason is the sexual abuse fervor, that has spread from Hollywood to Washington.
Farenthold's former spokeswoman filed charges against him in 2014. They were settled in 2015 – with a payout to her of $84,000 of taxpayer money. Since it blew up, Farenthold has said he'll take out a loan to pay it off, and has no plans to quit Congress.
But candidates, on both sides of the aisle, smelling blood in the water, have been flooding in. Since this is something of a mushy district, it may be hard for Farenthold to hold on.
• THE TRUMP FACTOR – It will be interesting to watch the degree to which President Donald Trump, whose approval ratings started bad and have gone down since, will affect the 2018 election.
Presidents, with a couple exceptions, have routinely have lost congressional seats in the mid-term election following their inauguration. But a Trump tailspin affecting Republicans in Texas could bring Bluer skies for Democrats.