HPPR Government & Politics

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Politics:
district-level and statewide office campaigns
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Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Fresh off a rally in Tulsa, Okla., in which nearly two-thirds of the arena was empty, President Trump on Tuesday addressed a crowd of student supporters at a tightly packed megachurch in Phoenix, amid the state's growing number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn on Thursday afternoon announced that he will introduce bipartisan legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

“As we do every year, tomorrow Texans will celebrate Juneteenth and the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in our state,” the state’s senior senator said in a floor speech Thursday.

First in a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., has a rising national profile.

The Texas Democratic Party filed applications with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asking justices to rule on whether the state should be forced to open up its vote-by-mail program during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lee esta historia en español

As the state set another record Tuesday for COVID-19 hospitalizations, Gov. Greg Abbott tried to reassure Texans the uptick is manageable.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it will make $30 million in grants available to nonprofit groups in five Southern states to help register and mobilize voters of color.

The campaign will go through this year's election, as well as the 2022 midterm elections.

"The United States has a long history of denying voting rights to its citizens, especially black and brown people, returning citizens and young people," said SPLC president Margaret Huang.

Wisconsin voters had to wait in long lines to cast their ballots. Absentee ballots went missing in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. And last week, voters in Georgia and Nevada were frustrated by long lines and widespread confusion.

Texans who want to vote in the upcoming Texas primary runoff election have until Monday, to register.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delayed the upcoming primary runoffs from May to July after the coronavirus pandemic hit the state of Texas.

In late April, more than 200 black women who are leaders and activists within the Democratic party signed an open letter to the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden calling on him to select a black woman as his running mate.

"It is a fact that the road to the White House is powered by Black women and Black women are the key to a Democratic victory in 2020," they wrote.

President Donald Trump rejected calls to defund police during his visit to Dallas Thursday. Trump was in town for a roundtable discussion about policing and race relations, and his first in-person fundraiser since pandemic lockdowns began. 

After Sandra Bland's death in a rural Texas jail drew outrage across the nation, two Texas lawmakers filed a comprehensive bill to address racial profiling during traffic stops, ban police from stopping drivers on a traffic violation as a pretext to investigate other potential crimes, limit police searches of vehicles and other jail and policing reforms.

The two remaining Democrats vying for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas called for comprehensive reforms to address police brutality and racial inequality in a debate Saturday that featured little disagreement on the issues and in which both candidates focused their attacks on Republican incumbent John Cornyn.

As protests against police brutality have unfolded across the country, calls to defund or abolish police departments are picking up traction among activists and even sparked a pledge by the Minneapolis City Council to "dismantle" the police force there. But Joe Biden's campaign said on Monday that the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee does not support that approach.

House and Senate Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation Monday to overhaul policing in the U.S., following weeks of national protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

Public hearings aimed at giving communities input in Texas’ redistricting process have been on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, but advocates say state leaders need to figure out a way to start them back up.


Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he will vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election.

TOPEKA, Kansas — A deal forged by the governor and legislative leaders extends the Kansas disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus through September, for now ending what’s become a partisan conflict.

The Republican National Committee is eyeing Dallas as a potential new site for part of its 2020 convention this summer.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas won’t be asking U.S. military to come into the state in response to protests.

“We know that Texans can take care of Texans,” he said at a news conference in Dallas. “We have tremendous police forces in Dallas, in Fort Worth, in the surrounding suburbs, across the entire state.”

Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he will extend the early voting period for an unspecified amount of time during the November election as concerns continue to persist around in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the absence of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify a voter to use the disability category to request a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic. The court also says it will not make election officials investigate – or deny – applications to vote by mail.

Confused by the back and forth over mail-in ballots in Texas? OK, let's sort some of that out.

Three of Texas' top Republican leaders are vigorously fighting efforts to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing it will lead to increased voter fraud, yet all three have themselves cast absentee ballots at least once in past elections.

In an effort to keep voters safe, states of all political complexions are finding ways to expand access to mail-in ballots as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Then there's Texas.

The state has some of the most restrictive laws limiting vote by mail in the country. Under Texas law, the program is open only to people who are 65 or older, people who will be out of the county during the election, people who are in jail and not convicted, and people who are disabled.

Many long-time election workers across Texas have indicated they don’t plan to be poll workers during the pandemic, voting groups say.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that "lack of immunity" to the coronavirus is not a disability under state law that would qualify someone for a mail-in ballot. In the same ruling, the court acknowledged that county election clerks have no duty to question or investigate the disability of voters who claim it.

But if you’re curious about how you would even go about voting by mail (or if you’re eligible), here’s how it works.

MANHATTAN, Kansas — Five Republicans running for the U.S. Senate debated farm issues in Manhattan on Saturday. They all described themselves as loyalists to President Donald Trump.

Today is the last day to register to vote before the July 14 primary runoff elections in Texas. Here’s what you need to know to register.

An expansion of Texas’ vote-by-mail program during the pandemic is on hold, again.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling from a day earlier that opened up mail-in voting to people under 65.

A federal judge on Tuesday opened a path for a massive expansion in absentee voting in Texas by ordering that all state voters regardless of age qualify for a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.

Is 2020 The Year Texas Becomes A Battleground State?

May 12, 2020

Texas has voted for a Republican in every presidential election since 1980. But that decades-long hold may be eroding, according to some political experts.

Donald Trump won Texas by less than 9% of the vote in 2016. And the margin was even smaller for Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, the year of the last statewide contest.

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