Texas politics

Who What Where Nguyen Why / Wikimedia Commons

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

public domain via PxHere

Tomorrow is election day, and the State of Texas has already experienced some problems with voting machines during early voting.

As POLITICO reports, glitchy voting machines have affected an untold number of early voting ballots in Texas, with the errors appearing to work in favor of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke.

Participation during early voting for the midterm elections is high, and the turnout might rival numbers usually seen in a presidential election year.

But what will its impact mean on election night?


Ruth Ellen Lynch / High Plains Public Radio

A week before the midterm elections, Amarillo has become the focus of attention by both candidates in what has become one of the most heated Senate races in the country.

On Monday morning, Congressman Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, whose grassroots campaign has broken fundraising records, made the most recent of several stops in Amarillo to spread his message of inclusion and to speak out against the divisiveness of the current political culture.

From Texas Standard:

This political season in Texas, yard signs have been at the center of stories that sound straight out of The Onion. There’s the couple who turned their front lawn into a giant, hand-painted Beto O’Rourke sign. Or the anti-Brett Kavanaugh sign in Hamilton that police threatened to confiscate after Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller posted about it on Facebook. Our Texas Decides series continues with a listener question you might call a sign of the times.

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to the Latino block of the electorate, you’ve probably heard politicians and analysts describe it this way.

Republican Ted Cruz leads Democrat Beto O’Rourke 51 percent to 45 percent in the Texas race for the U.S. Senate, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Libertarian Neal Dikeman was the choice of 2 percent of likely voters and another 2 percent said they would vote for someone else.

Tempers are flaring during early voting in Dallas County, and reports of voter intimidation are on the rise. The county’s nonpartisan election administrator said that the harassment — including name-calling and interrogating voters waiting in line — is the worst she’s seen in decades.

UPDATE Oct. 27: In a statement, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said that the eSlate voting machines are not malfunctioning. He said Texans using straight-ticket voting need to make sure they wait for screens to load.

From Marfa Public Radio:

Senate candidates from Texas, Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke, have spent a lot of time discussing their stances on immigration, health care and the economy while on the campaign trail. But the environment is a topic that is seldom discussed.  

That's why Jon Gergen, a retired listener from Plano, asked Texas Decides: "Specifically what policies Mr. Cruz and Mr. O’Rourke are for, or against, to deal with what I perceive most of the scientific community believes is a severe climate problem."

Why Do We Elect Judges In Texas?

Oct 24, 2018

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Standard and public radio stations across the state have been working together to help you make sense of the midterms through our Texas Decides project, inviting listeners to send in their questions.

Patsy Culver, a CPA and artist in Alpine, asks:

“My question is: Texas is fairly unique in that we elect our judges. I have not found anywhere that I can find the positions of the judges that are running this year."

Texas Sees Huge Turnout On First Day Of Early Voting

Oct 23, 2018

Tens of thousands of Texas voters turned out across the state to cast their ballots on Monday, the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections.

Less than a year into his first term as Texas attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton was indicted by a state grand jury on three criminal charges. The Democrat challenging his re-election, Justin Nelson, has said that's the key issue as voters go to the polls starting Monday.

We here at KUT spend a lot of time reminding you about the down-ballot races in an election. This season, we hosted City Council forums because local elections really affect your life the most.

But we know the big shiny races at the top of the ticket get more attention. So, here's what you need to know about the races everyone in the state gets a chance to vote on.

Doug Pagitt doesn't think the words "conservative" and "evangelical" have to go hand in hand.

He's an evangelical Christian pastor from Minneapolis who heads an effort called Vote Common Good. Pagitt and his compadres are on a marathon bus tour across the country encouraging voters in battleground Congressional districts to elect Democrats on Nov. 6.

Texas State Senate

You might be surprised to learn that the Lone Star State has never elected a Latina woman to Congress. But that may change this November.

As CBS News reports, Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar are looking to cruise to victory in their deep-blue Texas districts. Victories will mean the two women will become the first Latinas to represent Texas in the nation’s capital.

A large percentage of Texas Latinos don’t know what political party to align themselves with and are cynical about the voting process, according to a new report.

The report, released today, surveyed 1,000 Latinos in Texas ages 18 to 45. It was conducted by Jolt Initiative, a group working to mobilize young Latino voters.

Public Domain vis PXHere

As election day approaches, the two most populous counties in the Texas Panhandle are seeing record numbers of voters registering to cast ballots.

As MyHighPlains reports, both Potter and Randall Counties have seen the highest number of registrants ever—this despite the lack of a presidential candidate on the ballot.

Wikipedia

Heads-Up, Kansas & Texas!

Don't miss these two debates:

Mark your calendars for an important pair of upcoming political debates, and they're both airing this month on the HPPR Network.

When Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his re-election bid, he highlighted many of his accomplishments from his years in office.

What he left out was his indictment on three felony charges. We talk to Texas Observer staff writer Michael Barajas about his case.

Then, a homemade political yard sign caught the attention of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. So much so, it was seized by police (11:00). And finally, here in Texas, folks opt to observe Indigenous People’s Day rather than Columbus Day (22:52).  


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.

NOTE: The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot for the Nov. 2018 election in Texas was Oct. 26 — thus, it is now too late to request one.

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:

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