Texas politics

A sleeping giant looms over the Democratic presidential campaign, even as excitement continues to build toward the first-in-the-nation contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

That behemoth is Texas.

The Texas Tribune

The Democratic presidential candidate is staffing up in Texas and planning to open a Houston headquarters and 16 field offices.

From The Texas Tribune:

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is ramping up his efforts in Texas, with plans to build a state operation that his campaign says will be unrivaled by anyone else in the primary field.

The Texas Tribune

The U.S. House voted to impeach the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the third time in the nation's history the chamber took such action.

From The Texas Tribune:

WASHINGTON — Texans serving in the U.S. House moved in a party-line vote to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the third time in the nation's history the chamber took such action.

A month ago, agriculture commissioner Sid Miller faced online backlash after tweeting the phrase “get a rope” – a statement critics said harkens back to lynching African Americans in the South in the 19th and early 20th century.

On Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott did the same thing.

Four women — including one from Texas — are running for Congress and have dubbed themselves the “conservative squad.”

Beto O’Rourke is reiterating that he is not running for U.S. Senate next year as speculation swirls ahead of the Monday filing deadline.

The former El Paso congressman has long said he would not challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, but since he dropped out of the presidential race last month, some supporters have held out hope for a reversal and buzzed that he may be giving it new consideration.

Saying she had “no choice but to act” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she wanted House committee chairs to proceed with articles of impeachment.


Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

  The group, Leading Texas Forward PAC, hopes to raise $5 million this cycle, according to one of the lawmakers involved. Karl Rove is the group's treasurer.

From The Texas Tribune:

A group of Texas House Republicans is making a multimillion-dollar effort to defend the party's majority in 2020 with the speaker sidelined and Democrats pushing to flip the chamber.

Texas voters are about to weigh in on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution, which deal with everything from retiring law enforcement animals to the state's tax code. Voters in three state House districts will also participate in special elections to fill empty seats.

A small but growing bipartisan group of Texas House members have called for Speaker Dennis Bonnen to resign after a secret recording of the GOP leader meeting with a conservative activist was released this week.

Texans Beto O’Rourke And Julián Castro Fight For Political Survival

Oct 17, 2019
The Texas Tribune

The two Texans vying for the Democratic presidential nomination initially got little attention during Tuesday’s debate before taking on opponents over taxes and gun control.

From The Texas Tribune:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the fourth round of Democratic debates, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke engaged in one of the most personal exchanges of the entire primary with a fellow Democrat, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The 2019 Texas Inauguration Cost A Record $5.3 Million. Where Are The Receipts?

Oct 9, 2019
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is suing to discover what happened to millions raised mostly from top lobbying firms, corporations, wealthy businesspeople and trade groups for the inauguration of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Come next fall, there might not be a single person of color among Texas Republicans in the U.S. House. But that’s not top of mind for Gerard Garcia.

What do you want to ask the 2020 presidential candidates?

Off Script, a new NPR series about presidential hopefuls, gives voters the chance to sit down with candidates and get answers to their questions.

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions formally launched his campaign Thursday to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, opting against running again in his old Dallas-based district and pressing forward in Flores' 17th District despite some local Republican unease.

It was almost another one of those Trump-era days when the mayhem of the national capital could be felt back home in Texas.

Except this day felt bigger, more consequential, and some members said, possibly even a little frightening.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. - Patrick, Bob Daemmrich - Sullivan / The Texas Tribune

Patrick and Sullivan, who have long been aligned on issues, traded jabs Tuesday over Sullivan's allegations against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.

From The Texas Tribune:

Flickr Creative Commons

Two new polls have revealed some interesting insights into the minds of Texas voters.

As Houston Public Media reports, a new poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune shows that 47% of Texas voters said they would prefer a Democrat in the White House, compared to only 42% who favor President Trump.

The Texas Democratic Party is pulling back the curtain on its 2020 strategy ahead of the Houston presidential debate, releasing a plan to flip the state that targets 2.6 million potential Democratic voters who are not registered yet and commits to deploying over 1,000 organizers by the end of the election cycle.

Just days after Texas was rocked by a second mass shooting in a month, Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate talked gun policy at a forum in Frisco. It’s the first forum of the election season in the contest to pick the person who will challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn next year.

Once again, for the second time in the span of a month, West Texas is reeling from another mass shooting. The Texas Panhandle has, thankfully, thus far been spared.

The death toll from Saturday’s massacre in Odessa has now risen to eight. A shooting that began with a simple traffic stop resulted in at least 19 injured, including three police officers and a 17-month old girl.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House's last black Republican member, Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes, announced Thursday that he is retiring from Congress. President Donald Trump's racist comments about elected officials weighed heavily on Hurd, who has often spoken out against the rhetoric.

Democrats are hoping to flip six congressional seats in Texas in 2020. On Monday, Wendy Davis announced she’s running for one them.

Texas Democrats See Opportunity In 2020 House Races

Jul 22, 2019

From Texas Standard:

While no one expects Texas to "turn blue" any time soon, an energized Democratic Party could mean tighter races for the Texas House of Representatives in 2020. In 2018, winning margins in 17 House races were 10% or less. And 10 of those were in North Texas

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.

Flickr Creative Commons

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.”

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