Dan Patrick

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Texas Republicans are fretting over a possible “blue wave” of anti-Trump voter sentiment during 2018’s November elections, reports The Houston Chronicle.

Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have both been calling on Texas GOP operatives to batten down the hatches in anticipation of a Democratic tsunami. Yet many political observers in the Lone Star State say the traditionally conservative bastion has little chance of turning blue anytime soon.

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The Texas Panhandle has a long tradition of going its own way when it comes to politics. Now that State Sen. Kel Seliger is in the midst of a pitched re-election battle, he may pay for his legislative independence. Last session Seliger voted with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick 30 times, but he voted against the Senate leader twice. Those two “no” votes were enough to ignite the wrath of Patrick, according to Lubbock Avalanche-Journal columnist Jay Leeson.

Spencer Selvidge/Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

"It has been a tough cycle to recruit candidates," former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro said Sunday about the challenges for Texas Democrats in 2018.

With 36 days until the filing deadline for Texas' 2018 primaries, concerns about Democrats' statewide ticket are coming into public view.

Bob Daemmerich / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election. He did not rule out running for higher office.

Some Texas Republicans In Congress Again Outraised By Challengers

Oct 17, 2017
Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

  From The Texas Tribune:

The latest round of campaign fundraising reports show continued signs of of Democratic enthusiasm, though some Republican incumbents, including U.S. Reps. Pete Sessions and Will Hurd, posted strong third quarters.

*Correction appended

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In the third quarter of fundraising, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz outraised the Democrat who is trying to unseat him, reports The Texas Tribune.

Beto O’Rourke, the Spanish-speaking, Ivy League-educated former punk rocker from El Paso, has gained a good deal of national attention lately for his unorthodox campaign to challenge Cruz.

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Greg Abbott, the current Governor of Texas, will be seeking another term next year.

But, as The Texas Tribune notes, to claim victory again, Abbott will need to build on the success he had with Latinos when he first ran for the office in 2014.

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he, too, is frustrated with the inaction of the Republican Party in Washington, reports The Texas Tribune.

Senator Cruz spoke to two separate groups of Tea Party supporters this weekend, saying, “As frustrated as y’all are, I’m sitting there everyday!”

Cruz noted that the GOP has an historic opportunity, given that the party controls both houses of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court.

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A White House nominee to sit on the bench of the Texas Federal Court in the Eastern District is drawing fire for controversial comments.

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Over the past two decades, Texas Democrats have lost 123 consecutive statewide races. That’s  the longest losing streak of any state party in the country. But now, as Mother Jones reports, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has been drawing fire all year from far-right lawmakers, including members of the so-called “Texas Freedom Caucus” in the State House of Representatives, who have called for Straus’s job.

But, as The Texas Tribune reports, Straus is taking the calls for his ouster in stride. Brushing aside complaints that he’s too moderate, Straus welcomed all challengers.

“I don’t own this job,” he said.

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A prominent Texas legislator is taking four of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to task for their refusal to vote for a relief package to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Mac Thornberry, the congressman who represents the Texas Panhandle, was one of the legislators who voted against sending a $15.25 billion initial aid package to the coast.

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United States Congressman Mac Thornberry, who represents the Texas Panhandle, was one of four Texas lawmakers who voted against sending billions in relief funding to those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

None of the Texas lawmakers who opposed the bill represented coastal regions.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the House approved the $15 billion in aid to support the hurricane relief effort.

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A federal judge may soon require the State of Texas to send all requests for election law changes through the Federal Government for approval.

As The Huffington Post reports, in the last couple of weeks, federal courts have ruled in three separate cases that Republican lawmakers intentionally redrew Texas congressional districts to discriminate against minorities.

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

The differences between the state's top legislative leaders will inform the coming Republican primaries, because Dan Patrick and Joe Straus reflect different wings of the Texas GOP.

The guns of August are blazing.

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In the state of Texas, while the Governor is the most prominent statewide officeholder, the Lt. Governor is generally said to be the most powerful. But recently, House Speaker Joe Straus has proven himself to be the most dominant politician in the Lone Star State.

As WFAA reports, Straus, a moderate Republican, was the most authoritative force throughout the recent special legislative session.

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With seven days remaining, the special session of the Texas Legislature appears thus far to be a bust. Gov. Greg Abbott convened the session in hopes of furthering his own legislative agenda, after a contentious and mostly fruitless regular session.

But, as The Texas Tribune reports, not a single bill has made it through both houses and advanced to the Governor’s desk during this special session.

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Recent polling has shown Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to be more popular than the other big-name Republican politicians in the Lone Star State. Abbott is up for re-election next year, and at this point his prospects are rosy.

But, as The Texas Observer reports, Abbott has thrown his full-throated support behind the controversial measure known as SB4, and his stance may be hurting the GOP’s long-term chances in Texas.

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The Texas Legislature spent much of the 2017 session grappling over whether to pass a law disallowing transgender students to use the bathroom where they feel most comfortable, requiring these students to instead use the restroom that correlates with their birth certificates. Now, as the Daily Beast notes, the controversial Texas bathroom bill may end up playing an outsize role in the 2018 GOP primary campaigns.

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This week The New Yorker published an extended essay about Texas, calling the Lone Star State “the nation’s bellwether” and pondering if the future of the United States might look something like the current situation in Texas. The author of the essay is Lawrence Wright, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and long-time Texan.

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The feud between Texas and California is growing more heated, and the flames of resentment are being fueled by the President, reports POLITICO. The states have locked horns on matters ranging from tax policy to climate change to immigration policy. California recently instituted a ban on state-sponsored travel to Texas.

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The Texas Legislature will meet next month in a special session, and LGBT advocates are gearing up for battle once again.

As The San Antonio Current reports, champions of LGBT rights have already named the 2017 Texas legislative session “The Session of Oppression.”

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According to a recent poll, Gov. Greg Abbott remains the most popular politician in Texas.

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll shows Abbott with a 45 percent approval rating, while 38 percent of the electorate disapproves of the job he’s been doing. However, Abbott’s disapproval rating has risen five points from 33 percent since the last poll, which was taken in February.

Jacob Villanueva / Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Republican voters in the Lone Star State remain staunch in their support of the President, despite the Russian fog that has descended over the White House.

As The Texas Tribune reports, while only five percent of Democrats believe Donald Trump has the right temperament to occupy the Oval Office, more than two out of three self-identified Republicans say Trump is the right kind of person for the job.

Laura Skelding / Texas Tribune

Earlier this week we reported on how Dan Patrick, the Texas Lt. Gov., was threatening to send the state Legislature into a special session if the state House of Representatives didn’t approve the so-called “bathroom” bill, as well as a measure that would make it difficult for communities to raise property taxes.

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In the waning days of the Texas Legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is playing hardball to get his agenda passed.

As The Texas Tribune reports, Patrick has put out a list of bills he expects the House to pass. If the lower chamber doesn’t comply with his wishes, Patrick says he will direct his Senate to let so-called “must-pass” legislation falter.

This imperative legislation includes the state budget.

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The firing of FBI director James Comey by President Trump continues to dominate news cycles nationwide. The Austin American-Statesman took a look this week at how Texas politicians reacted to the director’s dismissal.

Sen. Ted Cruz threw his support behind the White House, saying he believed the move was justified as “Mr. Comey had lost the confidence of both Republicans and Democrats, and frankly, the American people.”

Billy Calzada / Austin American-Statesman

Beto O’Rourke, a challenger to Ted Cruz’s seat in the U.S. Senate, will make an appearance in Amarillo this Saturday, April 29th.

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It appears Democrats will need the Lone Star State to come through for them if they hope to win back the Senate next year.

As POLITICO reports, the electoral map is so grim for the Dems that they’re relying on taking Ted Cruz’s Senate seat from the G.O.P. But the odds of a victory are long in the traditionally Republican stronghold of Texas.

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Texas was one of the few bright spots for Democrats in last year’s election, notes The Texas Tribune.

Though the GOP retained a safe hold of the state in a year where the nation trended red, Texas was shown to be moving in a decidedly blue direction. And that trend appears to be continuing, if new election data is to be believed.

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