Texas Weekly's Hot List for October 25, 2010

The presentation for Texas Weekly's list of the most competitive races in Texas is lifted from the inventors of the federal terror watch, ranking districts by the threat to each incumbent (or incumbent party, in the case of open districts) and giving each group garish colors. Yellow means there's trouble on the sidewalk. Orange is trouble on the front porch. Red is trouble walking in the door.

Changes for the week of October 25: Linda Harper-Brown, in trouble over the now-famous Mercedes-Benz she drove, has been downgraded from Red to Orange, because things have calmed (some) in HD-105. We've upgraded HD-45 to Orange, as we said we might, in part because the contest has spilled onto the airwaves in the Austin market — a sign that incumbent Patrick Rose is in a competitive race. And we've added two Democrat-held districts, both at Yellow, in which campaign ops are active: HD-106 (Kirk England) and HD-149 (Hubert Vo).

Campaign finance reports — the last full ones due before January — must be turned into the state on Monday; they'll reflect contributions and spending through October 23. Candidates have to report contributions of more than $1,000 between Monday and Election Day as the money comes in.

As always, incumbents' names are shown in bold. A note to candidates and consultants whose nerves are shot: Within each color zone, the races are listed by district number, not by order of risk. Step away from the coffee pots, folks.

Texas Weekly's Hot List