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New Elections and New Contribution Limits in Certain Texas Congressional Districts

September 2006

On August 29, 2006, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) approved Advisory Opinion 2006-26, recognizing that recent redistricting activity by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas created new, special general elections in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, among others. It also found that contribution limits for the newly set special general election on November 7, 2006 were separate and distinct from the contribution limits that had applied to the now-cancelled regular general election that had been scheduled for that same date.

As a result of this opinion, individuals and political action committees (PACs) that contributed before August 5, 2006, to Texans for Henry Bonilla (the candidate committee that requested the advisory opinion) or to any of the other affected candidates may now contribute an additional $2,100 (for individuals) or $5,000 (for multicandidate PACs) for the special general election without regard to any previous contributions to that candidate's committee.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued its redistricting order on August 4, 2006, after the ruling and remand from the U.S. Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry. The district court order changed the boundaries for Texas congressional districts 15, 21, 23, 25 and 28 and set special general elections in each of these districts for November 7, 2006. These special general elections are open elections without regard to the results of the party primaries held in March 2006. If necessary, special runoffs will be scheduled by the Texas secretary of state after the special general elections.

WRF attorneys Jan Witold Baran and D. Mark Renaud represented Texans for Henry Bonilla in its advisory opinion request.