Texas politics

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.

Ted Cruz Leads Beto O'Rourke By 11 Points In Senate Race, New Poll Finds

Jun 3, 2018

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has some breathing space from U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday. 

Gov. Greg Abbott laid out a plan this morning to increase school safety in Texas after the Santa Fe High School shooting. The plan offered suggestions that focused on “hardening schools” and increasing mental health services through as much as $120 million in federal and state grants for schools.

Nobody in Texas "wants to see another occasion where innocent children are gunned down in their own schools,” he said as he rolled out the 40-page plan at the Dallas Independent School District headquarters.

From Texas Standard.

If you didn’t vote in this week’s primary runoff elections, you’re hardly alone. In fact, you are in the vast majority. According to the Texas Election Source, fewer than 1 million ballots were cast in both parties’ primary runoffs. For the Democrats, it was the lowest primary runoff turnout with a governor’s race on the ballot in almost a century. The Texas Election Source reports the Republicans actually had one of the highest turnouts for a runoff election year, but the percentage of voter participation was still just around 3 percent.

Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

A low-key, low-turnout primary runoff election Tuesday set the slates for November's general elections — starting with the Democratic nominee for governor.

From The Texas Tribune:

Tuesday’s runoffs set the major party ballots for a November general election where Texas Republicans will be trying to maintain a 24-year winning streak in statewide elections while Democrats will be trying to breach the red seawall with a blue tsunami.

Wikimedia Commons

Texas voters participated in a runoff election on Tuesday, with decisions being finalized in both major statewide races and local Panhandle races.

Statewide, in the race to decide Gov. Greg Abbot’s Democratic challenger this November, Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez defeated Texas businessman Andrew White. If she’s victorious this November, CNN notes, Valdez would be the state’s first lesbian and first Latina governor.        

The legal fight over whether Texas is disenfranchising thousands of voters by violating a federal voter registration law is on its way to federal appeals court.

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has won the Democratic nomination for governor. A back-and-forth race early against Houston businessman Andrew White finally broke late for Valdez.

Cory Doctorow / Wikimedia Commons

As Texas reels from yet another school shooting, as 10 students were killed in the small suburb of Santa Fe over the weekend, officials in the Lone Star State are at loggerheads about how to deal with the problem.

As USA Today reports, Texas Attorney General Dan Patrick reiterated his belief that state lawmakers should not tighten gun laws in the wake of the tragedy. Meanwhile, the police chief of Houston, the largest city in Texas, of which Santa Fe is a suburb, said he did not believe that “thoughts and prayers” were enough.

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Primary runoff elections will be held across Texas tomorrow.

As The Texas Tribune reports, in more than 30 races statewide, no candidate drew more than 50 percent of the vote. That means Texans will go to the polls to decide between the candidates who placed first and second in those races. The most high-profile race is for which Democratic contender will face off against Gov. Greg Abbott this November.

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Beto O'Rourke, the young West Texas congressman who is challenging Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, will be in Amarillo this weekend as his campaign gears up for the final six months before the election.

As KFDA reports, the Democrat will host a town hall meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. this Sunday evening. The event will be held at In This Moment, at 3941 N. Western in Amarillo.

ballotpedia.org

Motivated by the rise of Donald Trump, a plethora of first-time candidates have added their names to ballots in Texas--and many of them are women.

As The Guardian reports, these candidates are hoping to ride to victory on what many political observers are predicting will be a blue wave of Democratic voters this November in the Lone Star State.

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

 "A debate in Spanish would not be very good because my Spanish isn’t good enough," U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said at a campaign event Tuesday afternoon, "but I look forward to debating Congressman O’Rourke."

From The Texas Tribune:

Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court has ruled that the controversial Texas Voter ID law will be in effect for November's elections.

Last year a lower-court had ruled that the law was discriminatory, as it required voters to bring an ID to the polls in order to cast their ballots.

Poor and minority voters often do not have access to IDs, so critics saw the law as an effort by Republicans to disenfranchise voters who tend to vote Democrat.

From Texas Standard:

The Amarillo City Council’s no clapping policy is designed to maintain order at council meetings, but some say the rule is unconstitutional. Instead of clapping, people are instructed to raise their hands to signal agreement or keep their hands down to signal disagreement.

From Texas Standard:

The just-released Quinnipiac University survey of some 1,029 registered Texas voters says incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz can count on 47 percent of the vote, while Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke has 44 percent. That 3-point lead for Cruz makes this race too close to call, with an election looming in November.

WASHINGTON — A new poll released Wednesday suggests the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is far more competitive than many political observers have initially thought.

The poll from Quinnipiac University shows the two men in a dead heat: 47 percent of registered voters in Texas support Cruz, the Republican incumbent, while 43 percent back O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat.

When U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced his latest fundraising haul earlier this month – a stunning $6.7 million – it was widely expected to surpass what his rival, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, brought in over the same period. Now it's clear by how much: roughly $3.5 million.

From Texas Standard.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke has raised $6.7 million so far this year from 141,000 contributions in his race to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. The Cruz camp hasn’t released fresh numbers yet, but a filing deadline is coming up April 15.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign was assured the much-touted data firm it used during the 2016 race, Cambridge Analytica, was operating above the board, the U.S. senator said Tuesday, weighing in as the company faced growing scrutiny over its practices.

After the Columbine school shooting in 1999, the Texas Legislature created the School Safety Center, a research center at Texas State University that helps schools prepare for different kinds of disasters.

Texas City Prairie Preserve / Wikimedia Commons

During the primary elections in the Texas Panhandle this year much was heard about a heavily funded far-right group called Empower Texans, and how the group was trying to meddle in Panhandle elections. Republicans like State Congressman Four Price and State Senator Kel Seliger were targeted by the group, who funded primary challengers to try to torpedo these lawmakers’ re-election bids.

This wasn’t just happening in the Panhandle, either—Empower Texans employed their hardball tactics in races across the state. And they came up mostly empty-handed.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush won the GOP primary Tuesday and avoided a runoff against his predecessor.

World Travel & Tourism Council / Wikimedia Commons

The dust continues to settle from Tuesday night’s Texas primary elections, and there were some expected results as well as a few surprises, both regionally and statewide.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, State Senator Kel Seliger successfully fended off challenges from former Midland Mayor Mike Canon and Amarillo restaurateur Victor Leal. Seliger just barely squeaked over the 50% margin to avoid a runoff, winding up with 50.41% of the vote.

During early voting in the primaries, a theme developed around what was happening in Texas. The narrative became that Democrats ­– perhaps improbably – were outpacing Republicans at the polls. Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz sounded the alarm to Republicans.

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