Dan Patrick

Austin American-Statesman

The firing of FBI director James Comey by President Trump continues to dominate news cycles nationwide. The Austin American-Statesman took a look this week at how Texas politicians reacted to the director’s dismissal.

Sen. Ted Cruz threw his support behind the White House, saying he believed the move was justified as “Mr. Comey had lost the confidence of both Republicans and Democrats, and frankly, the American people.”

Billy Calzada / Austin American-Statesman

Beto O’Rourke, a challenger to Ted Cruz’s seat in the U.S. Senate, will make an appearance in Amarillo this Saturday, April 29th.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

It appears Democrats will need the Lone Star State to come through for them if they hope to win back the Senate next year.

As POLITICO reports, the electoral map is so grim for the Dems that they’re relying on taking Ted Cruz’s Senate seat from the G.O.P. But the odds of a victory are long in the traditionally Republican stronghold of Texas.

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

Texas was one of the few bright spots for Democrats in last year’s election, notes The Texas Tribune.

Though the GOP retained a safe hold of the state in a year where the nation trended red, Texas was shown to be moving in a decidedly blue direction. And that trend appears to be continuing, if new election data is to be believed.

Al Drago / The New York Times

An offhand remark President Donald Trump made on Wednesday has Democratic lawmakers in Texas fuming.

As The New York Times reports, Trump was speaking with a group of sheriffs from around the country when a Texas sheriff asked the president about a state senator who was proposing a law that would not allow Texas to seize a suspect’s assets until that suspect had been convicted by a court.

debaird / Creative Commons

This week the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the State of Texas that would have restored the state’s controversial voter ID law.

As The New York Times reports, Chief Justice John Roberts left the door open for the Supreme Court to consider the case after further proceedings in the lower courts.

Austin American-Statesman

The Texas Legislature reconvened for the new session this week, amid speeches and plenty of pomp. But, as The Austin American-Statesman reports, the ceremony belied simmering tensions in the Lone Star State’s governing body.

During the recess strains began to build over hot button issues like transgender bathrooms, abortion, immigration, school policy, and religious practices.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature gavels in its 2017 session today. To get the new session rolling, let’s take a look back at the biggest Texas political stories of the 2016 session.

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has been generating a lot of talk in recent days in the Texas Panhandle.

Olivier Douliery-Pool / Getty Images/Bloomberg

Donald Trump has promised to reverse much of President Obama’s legislation from the past eight years. But Texas is two steps ahead of the president-elect.

Last week a federal judge in Texas halted Obama’s plan to give overtime pay to millions of American workers. This is just the latest blow to Obama’s legacy delivered courtesy of Lone Star judges.

Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Will Texas be the next state to decriminalize marijuana? During the elections this November, voters in eight states passed legalization laws.

As The International Business Times reports, this has opened the door for cannabis advocates to push for similar laws in other states. On Nov. 5, the first day of bill filling for the 2017 legislative season, Texas lawmakers filed several requests to decriminalize pot.

Dave Wilson / Flickr Creative Commons/KERA

LGBTQ rights have re-entered the conversation in the Texas Panhandle.

A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require public school teachers to inform a student’s parents when they learn of a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity, even if that student wants the information to be kept a secret.

Chan Lone / Texas Tribune

Texas’s foster care system has been in crisis for years now. The Lone Star State has been plagued by reports of abuse and neglect in the system. State workers are severely overworked, and there were even reports of foster kids regularly sleeping in the offices of state foster care workers.

Earlier this year a federal judge ordered Texas overhaul the system, and the directive was backed up by an independent review paid for on Texas’s dime.

Dallas Morning News

Hundreds of bills were filed this week by Texas lawmakers, who are hoping to shepherd their legislation through the process of becoming law.

Most of the bills are DOA. Last year, for example, 6,400 bills were filed in the Lone Star State. And only one in five of those made it all the way to becoming law.

Here are some of the more unique potential laws on offer this year, courtesy of The Dallas Morning News.  

Jen Reel / Texas Observer

Lost amid the red tidal wave that struck America on Tuesday was one salient data point: According to The Texas Observer, Texas was one of only four states to grow more blue compared with its 2012 vote tally.

With the exception of Fort Worth’s Tarrant County, all of Texas’s urban counties tilted Democratic this year. Texas’ biggest urban area, Houston’s Harris County, is now 70 percent non-white. Clinton won that county by 12 percentage points.

Wikimedia Commons

There’s a lot more happening on Lone Star ballots today besides Trump vs. Clinton. Here are some things to watch for tonight in Texas, courtesy The Dallas Morning News.

Eric Gay / AP photo/Dallas Morning News

There’s been a lot of talk about how the presidential race in Texas could come down to the wire. But another fact has gotten lost among all the hype: On a smaller scale, Texas remains as red as ever.

Laura Skelding / Houston Chronicle

Reports have come out over the past few months that Texas is denying services to public school students with special needs.

Lone Star State Lighter Shade of Red This Election

Oct 27, 2016
KQED

Texas, home to two of the country’s most recent Republican presidents, George Bush and his son, George W. Bush, and one of the most conservative states in the country, is a toss-up in this year’s presidential election.

Oliver Contreras / Zuma Press

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling last year, Texas Republicans are not yet ready to give up the fight, reports The Austin American-Statesman.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

Despite tightening polls in the Lone Star State and Donald Trump’s repeated complaints that the election, Texas elections officials will not be increasing voter security throughout the state,

Andrew Harnik / AP photo

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is expanding its efforts to traditionally Republican states, including Arizona and Georgia—and now add the Lone Star State to the list.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, Clinton’s campaign has purchased a one-week ad buy in Texas, citing tightening poll numbers and an endorsement by The Dallas Morning News. The ad highlights the editorial by the Dallas newspaper, and will run in the state’s urban centers.

Austin American-Statesman

Trump’s lead in Texas has shrunk to within the margin of error, The Austin American-Statesman reports.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

When it comes to Donald Trump, Texas Republican leaders are following the lead of many of their GOP counterparts in the rest of the country.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and US Sen. John Cornyn have gone on record as condemning Trump’s words. But none of these men has gone so far as to withdraw his support for the presidential candidate. Even Sen. Ted Cruz is holding fast. Cruz famously refused to endorse Trump at the Republican Convention in Cleveland but has since done so.

Office of the Attorney General of Texas / KTSA

The State of Texas is suing the Obama Administration once again, reports KTSA.

This time the lawsuit centers around a new federal overtime pay law. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he’s “constantly” having to sue the government because he and his colleagues feels the Obama Administration is making new laws. And he insists that the Executive Branch’s job is to enforce laws, not write them.

Eric Gay / AP photo

Last week, voting rights advocates accused Texas Republicans of mounting a procedural end run around a panel of federal appeals court judges.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas’s Voter ID law is in the spotlight again as the state considers appealing a Federal ruling that deemed the law unconstitutional. Last month, a Federal judge ruled that the law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections.

James Gregg / Austin American-Statesman

Donald Trump paid a visit to Texas this week, causing some to wonder if the GOP might consider the state more in play than previously believed.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, a recent poll showed Trump with only a 6-point lead over Hillary Clinton. Former Land Commissioner Garry Mauro said of the billionaire’s visit to the Lone Star State, “He saw the same poll I did.”

Copper Neill / Texas Tribune

A familiar name could unseat Ted Cruz in the Texas Senator’s 2018 re-election bid, reports The Texas Tribune.

According to a new poll, former Governor Rick Perry would beat Cruz by nine percentage points in a head-to-head matchup for the U.S. senate seat. If the election were held today, Perry would get 46 percent of the vote and Cruz 37 percent. Eighteen percent said they were unsure who they would support.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Texas’s agriculture commissioner says he has joined Donald Trump’s ag team, reports The Texas Tribune.

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