Texas politics

Republican Sen. John Cornyn is facing a growing field of challengers to keep his seat, with the entry of Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards. Other Democratic candidates already in the contest include Air Force veteran M.J. Hegarformer Congressman Chris Bell and Houston activist Sema Hernandez.

Republican Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has launched a political action committee to help defend the GOP majority as Democrats push to take the lower chamber in 2020.

From Texas Standard:

As Texans gear up for the 2020 elections, some hopeful candidates are struggling to get on the ballot. As a result, the Libertarian and Green Parties and others have sued the Texas secretary of state's office, alleging election laws in Texas discriminate against third-party and independent candidates.

Mark Jones is a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, and says candidates who want to get on the ballot for the governor’s race, for example, but who haven’t won enough votes in past elections, have to get signatures from the public.

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

Many school districts are seeing smaller gains from the state's school finance law than they predicted. Teachers are fighting to get bigger raises anyway.

From The Texas Tribune:

When state lawmakers passed their landmark $11.6 billion school finance law in late May, school employees were eager to see how mandatory raises would affect their paychecks.

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In this week’s Democratic debates, two Texan contenders went head to head in a clash on a number of issues, including how they would handle immigration.

Former Housing Secretary and San Antonio mayor Julián Castro won rave reviews for his performance with NBC declaring, “Julián Castro nabbed the debate spotlight. Now he has to keep it.”

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

The bills aim to create a "hostile environment" for human trafficking in Texas and address sexual assault, said Gov. Greg Abbott at a bill signing ceremony Tuesday in Dallas.

From The Texas Tribune:

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Texas law that requires people contracting with the state to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. 

MJ Hegar announced Tuesday she is running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, challenging Texas Sen. John Cornyn for a seat he's held since 2002. 

The Texas Tribune

The handful of Republican Texas officials who offered statements said the report definitively proved there was no obstruction. Some Democrats suggested Congress should launch its own inquiry.

From The Texas Tribune:

WASHINGTON — Judging by their reactions, it was as if Texas members of Congress read two wholly different versions of the much-anticipated Mueller report.

Texas begins redistricting in two years. The process will slice up Texas into political districts. When the districts are redrawn to benefit a particular party, it's called gerrymandering.  Some say it's time to finally end this particular political game.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The bill would increase state, school district and teacher contributions to the fund, and provide a one-time additional check for retirees.

From The Texas Tribune:

The Texas Senate unanimously passed legislation Monday that is designed to make the Teacher Retirement System pension fund financially healthy and give one-time checks to retired teachers.

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If you woke up feeling groggy and disjointed on Sunday, you’re not alone. Complaints about clock-switching in the Spring and Fall have increased in recent years. And some Texas lawmakers have had enough.

As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, proposals have been filed in the Texas Legislature that would put an end to Daylight Savings Time in the Lone Star State.

Almost 68 percent of voters in Texas voted straight ticket during the 2018 general election, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / The Texas Tribune

The former Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate avoided talking about 2020 on Monday — but it was virtually unavoidable as he starred in a split-screen night with President Donald Trump.

From The Texas Tribune:

EL PASO — Beto O'Rourke didn't utter a word about 2020 here Monday night, but he didn't have to.

From Texas Standard:

The GOP in Texas will face greater challenges in 2020 than it has for many years. Sen. John Cornyn and party Chairman James Dickey have acknowledged the problem.

From Texas Standard:

The Democratic campaign arm for the U.S. House announced Monday they'll be investing money and resources into trying to flip several congressional districts in Texas blue. Many of these districts encompass the state's rapidly growing commuter cities. While few things are certain about 2020 right now, it's all but guaranteed there will be a partisan war for Texas's suburbs – and some of these Republican bellwethers are showing signs of becoming less red.

Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

Texas officials flagged 95,000 voters for citizenship reviews. But after thousands have already been cleared, questions are being raised about how they handled the process.

From The Texas Tribune:

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

 

The two have been tussling over committee assignments in recent days.

The 86th Legislature runs from Jan. 8 to May 27. From the state budget to health care to education policy — and the politics behind it all — we focus on what Texans need to know about the biennial legislative session.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas' top three leaders are eager to show they're on the same page as the 86th legislative session begins.

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas' top three elected leaders are looking to show a united front as the 2019 legislative session begins — and start fresh after the drama of last session.

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The two brightest stars in the Texas Democratic Party firmament appear to be on a collision course.

As POLITICO reports, for many years, Texas Democrats have dreamed of a resurgence onto the national stage—and the path to that national stage has long run through San Antonio, home to twin brothers Julian and Joaquin Castro.

How Pop-Up Super PACs Influenced The Texas Senate Race

Dec 14, 2018

From Texas Standard:

Weeks before Election Day in November, reports indicated that the Texas Senate race would be the most expensive one in U.S. history. The last campaign-finance report showed that Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke collectively raised more than $100 million.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, announces at a Capitol press conference that he's accumulated enough votes to be elected speaker of the Texas House in January.Credit Bob Daemmrich / The Texas TribuneEdit | Remove

By most measures, Republicans are still dominating in Texas.

In this past election, the party won every statewide office – just like it has in the past two decades. This time around, however, the margins were close. So close, in fact, some Texas Republicans say they are nervous ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

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Texas State Representative Four Price of Amarillo has dropped his bid to become the next speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, instead endorsing Representative Dennis Bonnen for the position.

As The Texas Tribune reports, Bonnen’s candidacy has gained real momentum in the last 48 hours, as four GOP legislators vying for the job dropped out of the race and endorsed the Angleton Republican.

It wasn’t Beto O’Rourke.

But in the sleepiest branch of government — the judiciary — Texas Democrats cleaned up on Election Day, flipping the four influential state appeals courts that serve Austin, Houston and Dallas. Democrats now hold majorities on seven of the state’s 14 appeals courts. Before Tuesday, they held seats on just three.

By the end of Election Day, the political maps of the state’s suburban and swing counties had a peculiar blue tint.

From Texas Standard:

One hundred and ninety-six years of experience is the amount of time nine outgoing members of Congress from Texas have compiled in the U.S. House of Representatives. The turnover comes thanks to six retirements, two upsets and one failed Senate bid. According to Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute, that’s an unusually high amount of institutional knowledge going out the door.

KUT's Ashley Lopez discusses incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz's win over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke with Morning Edition's Noel King.

Copyright 2018 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

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Tuesday night’s elections went largely as expected in the Texas Panhandle, with incumbents John Smithee, Kel Seliger, and Mac Thornberry all easily winning re-election. In Canyon, voters approved a 200 million dollar bond for school improvements.

Meanwhile, on the statewide level, Governor Greg Abbott easily defeated Democratic rival Lupe Valdez. And Ted Cruz defeated Democratic upstart challenger Beto O’Rourke.

Every county in the Texas Panhandle went for both Cruz and Abbott. 

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has won re-election in Texas, fending off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

"Texas came together behind a common-sense agenda of low taxes, low regulation and lots and lots of jobs," Cruz told supporters at an election night watch party in Houston. "[It was about] securing the border and keeping our communities safe, defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."

PHOTOS | Scenes From The Cruz And O'Rourke Election Night Watch Parties

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