Texas politics

Vice President Mike Pence came to Dallas on Monday to campaign for a pair of Republican incumbents, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Both are facing tough Democratic challengers.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Democrat hoping to oust Sen. Ted Cruz in November, is not shying away from talking about race. And black voters are noticing.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month, 97 percent of black voters surveyed said they favor O’Rourke.

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee for governor, swung away at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in their first and only debate Friday evening, while Abbott largely ignored her and defended his first term.

We got a question for our TX Decides project from Victoria, who asked:

I am registered in Bastrop County but am working in D.C. at the moment, is there a way to get a ballot?

The short answer is: Yes. You can vote by mail.

At their first debate in Texas’ 2018 U.S. Senate general election campaign, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, traded blows Friday over a range of issues that included immigration and criminal justice. 

Micael Vadon / Flicker Creative Commons

Ted Cruz followed up Friday night’s debate with Beto O’Rourke by making a campaign appearance on Saturday at the Botanical Gardens in Amarillo. This is the second Amarillo appearance by Cruz in the last month, as polls show the race tightening.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, leads Republican incumbent Ted Cruz by 2 percentage points among likely voters, according to an Ipsos online poll released Wednesday in conjunction with Reuters and the University of Virginia. O’Rourke has been closing the gap over the last several months, but this is the first poll that puts him ahead of Cruz.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Robin Jerstad: Cruz / The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Democratic opponent Beto O'Rourke have reached an agreement in their long-running negotiations over a debate schedule.

From The Texas Tribune:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, have agreed to three debates before Election Day.

Getty Images/iStockphoto/BongkarnThanyakij

  

The campaign of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke says some eyebrow-raising texts that surfaced Wednesday were not "approved" by the campaign.

From The Texas Tribune:

From Texas Standard:

Labor Day once marked the traditional start of election season. That's hard to believe now with 24-hour news cycles, and more and more people tuned in to social media. These days, Labor Day signals the final sprint for those running for office to reach voters before they head to the polls in November. So, with campaigns already well underway, how are the midterms shaping up in Texas?

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Election judges who work long hours in rural areas had expressed safety concerns, a Republican lawmaker told Paxton in March.

From The Texas Tribune:

Firearms are generally not allowed at the polls while voters are casting ballots in Texas. But with some limited exceptions, presiding election judges who are licensed to carry may bring their guns to polling places, Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a nonbinding opinion Monday.

Texas Republicans are facing what could be one of the most serious challenges from Democrats in recent history – and Hispanic voters could be part of that challenge.

Valdez Agrees To Debate Abbott On Sept. 28 In Austin

Aug 28, 2018

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate for governor, has agreed to debate the Republican incumbent, Greg Abbott, on Sept. 28 in Austin, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether the two would face off.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday challenged Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera to a debate over immigration.

With another major election around the corner and continued threats of Russian hacking, state and local election officials in Texas are focused on making voter registration databases in the state more secure.

“Where there could potentially be vulnerabilities is in the voter registration database – which is connected to the internet,” said Sam Taylor, a spokesperson for the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

From Texas Standard:

Political pundits, pollsters and activists have been saying for a while that the 2018 midterm elections are likely to result in some upheaval in the ranks of incumbent officeholders. Already, in special elections in other states, Democrats have run strong in reliably Republican areas, and here at home, one senator, and several members of Congress face enthusiastic opposition. But statewide officeholders – Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller – face somewhat easier paths to reelection. Still, Democrats are campaigning aggressively.

Texas election officials have been removing more people from the state’s voter rolls ever since the Supreme Court struck down a part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, according to a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice.

The group says the court’s decision to specifically strike down one provision of the law led to the rise in voter purges.

mollyktadams / Flickr Creative Commons

The State of Texas is suing the Federal Government, asking them to end the DACA program, which protects immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation.

Now, as The Houston Chronicle reports, a number of prominent businesses have come out in opposition to the lawsuit. The corporations, which include Southwest Airlines, Uber, Verizon and Amazon, say ending DACA would have a negative impact on the Lone Star State, to the tune of $6 billion.

Seven Texas Republicans In Congress Just Got Outraised By Their Democratic Rivals

Jul 17, 2018
The Texas Tribune

Candidates for Congress recently filed their second-quarter fundraising reports. In some districts, Democratic candidates raised more than double what the Republican incumbents reported.

From The Texas Tribune:

From Texas Standard:

Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke wants to unseat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. O'Rourke's campaign has enjoyed record fundraising success, and he's a star among national Democrats. But to win, he needs to generate excitement among potential voters, especially those who don't normally turn out to vote in Texas elections.

Abbott Agrees To Debate With Valdez, Who Says, 'Call Me, Maybe?'

Jul 12, 2018

Gov. Greg Abbott has accepted an invitation from a TV station group to debate Democratic opponent Lupe Valdez on Sept.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat, has so far resisted pressure from grassroots groups to call for abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The agency has become a lightning rod under the Trump administration.

In a move that could expand the powers of his office, Gov. Greg Abbott has told Texas state agencies to submit proposed new rules to him before they are made available for public comment.

Roman Leal

Last week, the Texas Panhandle was abuzz about a billboard. The sign didn’t mince words, simply asking “LIBERALS" to "please continue on I-40 until you have left our Great State of Texas.”

In an editorial in The Amarillo Globe-News, Jon Mark Beilue called the sign, “childish and immature, noting that the sign only “add[ed] to the division in the country.”

After the backlash, the sign was promptly taken down.

FORT WORTH — Even before Texas Democrats’ convention officially got underway here this weekend, its top candidates were chomping at the bit to seize on the biggest story in the country: thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border.

From Texas Standard.

Canadian lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Our northern neighbors are only the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. This poses a question: Are times changing? In their recently adopted party platform, Texas Republicans endorsed medical marijuana, cannabis decriminalization and industrial hemp.

Political party conventions are always about the future – the next election, to be specific, but also the five- and 10-year plan for growth.

The last couple of decades for Texas Republicans have been pretty rock solid. In 2014, Gov. Greg Abbott won the election by 20 points. And in the 2018 primaries, Republicans set records for voter turnout in an off-year election.

James Dickey Wins Re-election As Chairman Of The Texas GOP

Jun 17, 2018

SAN ANTONIO — Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey has won re-election, beating back a challenge from longtime activist Cindy Asche after a long and bitter fight on the convention floor Friday.

Beto O'Rourke for Congress Committee / Flickr Creative Commons

Beto O’Rourke has now appeared in every county in Texas, including each of the counties in the Texas Panhandle.

But, as The Dallas Morning News notes, the young congressman from West Texas still has an uphill battle to unseat Senator Ted Cruz. O’Rourke has been crisscrossing Texas for 14 months, live-streaming his effort to visit all 254 counties in the Lone Star State.

MC2 Sean Hurt / Wikimedia Commons

Fewer Texans are reporting domestic violence, and police say the drop is a result of immigrant fears of deportation.

As The New York Times reports, many Texas women who are beaten or raped by their partners fail to report the crimes, choosing to go into hiding rather than appear in court and risk being separated from their children.

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