2018 elections | KERA News

2018 elections

Illustration by Anthony Truong-Nguyen

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are far ahead of their Republican primary opponents in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but the Democrats running for those two high offices face more difficult paths to their party’s nomination.

From Texas Standard.

Candidates all over the Lone Star State are pouring their hearts, souls and resources into their campaigns. The primaries in Texas are only three weeks away.

While resources are a major challenge for every candidate, that’s particularly true for those with little name recognition. Some organizations like Emily’s List and Annie’s List are making money available to the record number of female candidates running this year. but the money is not available to everyone.

Is Texas turning blue? That's the question, dream and lie (depending on your point of view) being discussed across the state.

It's the dream of Democrats, who haven't won a statewide office in Texas since the early '90s. It's a big lie, say Republicans, who argue support for President Trump has been more positive in Texas than in most of the country.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The race for Texas’ only open state Senate seat up for election this year is heating up. Two well-connected candidates with well-known names are spending millions to win the District 8 seat in Collin County, which was left empty when state Sen. Van Taylor announced he’d be stepping down to run for Congress.

From Texas Standard:

On March 6, Texas will hold the first primary contests in the nation this year. If patterns emerge in the statewide results, the primaries could set the tone for contests in the rest of the country.

When it comes to congressional races, a number of retirements among Texas Republicans has resulted in packed fields of candidates vying to replace them. And campaign committees from both national parties have been hesitant to endorse candidates.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

Texas will hold the nation’s first primary election on March 6.

The primary will determine the party nominees for the November midterm elections. Midterms are typically lower turnout elections, but they can have an outsized impact because they can change electoral maps, depending on the outcome of state and congressional races.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The State Republican Executive Committee voted to censure Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, on Saturday, dinging the outgoing state leader for standing in the way of the party leadership group's priorities.

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In just three and a half weeks, Texans will begin voting in the nation's first political primary of the year.

And the stakes will depend on what happens next. Just this week, we came out of a federal government shutdown. Now, there's a lawsuit in Dallas County to remove more than 120 Democratic candidates from the state's primary ballot.

More than 40 Texans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are running for public office this year. Advocates say this is an “unprecedented” number of candidates who are openly LGBT – and that this isn’t just backlash to Donald Trump's election.

Mary Wilson, who is gay, is among those candidates running for the first time.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

Texans will go to the polls to elect hundreds of officials to represent them this year. Up for grabs are the governor’s mansion, a seat in the U.S. Senate and some of the most powerful statewide offices.

Lang: Twitter/Largent: Granbury ISD

Nearly a year ago, a dozen right-wing lawmakers in the Texas House dubbed themselves the Texas House Freedom Caucus, railing against the chamber's more moderate leadership and highlighting divides within the state GOP.  

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Dallas County Republicans have filed a lawsuit to remove 128 Democratic candidates from the March 6 primary ballot. 

From Texas Standard.

Texans don’t care about primary elections – at least if history is any indication. Single-digit turnouts are not uncommon in non-presidential election years. But there’s reason to think conventional wisdom could be turned on its head this March.

An unlikely coalition of business groups and educators are coming together to get out the vote, and they appear to have rattled allies of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Arizona Republican Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff who became famous for his controversial stance on immigration, has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, saying he wants to join Congress so he can help President Trump.

Arpaio made the announcement in a tweet on Tuesday, contending that helping Trump was his "one unwavering reason" for running.

There is a wave of women running for public office in Texas this year.

As The Texas Tribune reported last week, about 50 women have filed to run for Congress. Patsy Woods Martin, the executive director of Annie’s List, says there is the same trend in races for the Texas Legislature.

Welcome to the 2018 Elections!

This could be a historic year at the ballot box. Republicans are looking to sweep all the statewide offices again, but Democrats have fielded more candidates for more races than they have in years. To help you navigate through all of this, we’re starting a weekly column. It’ll include not only the politics at play, but also information on the basics, like how to register or find your polling place.

Left to right, top row: Veronica Escobar, Dori Fenenbock and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. Middle row: Sylvia Garcia, MJ Hegar and Gina Ortiz Jones. Bottom row: Laura Moser, Bunni Pounds and Jenifer Sarver.
Facebook campaign pages

Eighteen months and several political lifetimes ago, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee held court at a table at the Democratic National Committee Texas delegation breakfast in Philadelphia. Just hours before Hillary Clinton was set to become the first woman to accept a major-party nomination for the presidency, Jackson Lee conceded she was "worried ... but not panicked" about the advancement of women in politics in her own backyard. 

Courtesy of Mark Phariss

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Mark Phariss is running for state senate; Dallas County has an interim sheriff; check out Cole Hamels’ mansion he donated; and more.

From Texas Standard:

The last time a Democrat won statewide office in Texas, grunge rock topped the music charts. The state has been solidly red ever since Republican George W. Bush took over from Democrat Ann Richards in the Governor's mansion. That was more than 20 years ago.

Dallas County Sheriff's Office / Graphic by Molly Evans

Marian Brown has been named interim Dallas County sheriff, stepping in for Lupe Valdez, who resigned this month to run for governor.

In deep-red Texas, Republicans will have to fight for every seat in Congress during next year's midterm elections. For the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in all of Texas' 36 congressional districts, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Those filings set a record for the number of Democratic challengers in an era of Republican dominance, says Mark Jones, political science fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute. It is a departure from 2016, he says, when eight Republican-held congressional seats went uncontested by Democrats.

TEXANS FOR ANDREW WHITE CAMPAIGN; CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY, KERA; OFFICIAL PHOTO; SHUTTERSTOCK

One thing is clear: The 2018 midterm elections in Texas will be lively. Democrats have pledged a full-frontal assault on statewide offices, which Republicans have controlled since 1994.

From Texas Standard.

Something happened last night that hasn’t happened in 25 years: The state with "Heart of Dixie" stamped on its license plate elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. The question is whether Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama is an anomaly or a turning point. His opponent, Roy Moore, was a flawed and controversial candidate, but with a Democratic victory, and the weakness of President Donald Trump among some moderately conservative Republicans, it’s possible to envision Democrats making more gains, even in bright red Texas. 

In deep-red Texas, Republicans will have to fight for every congressional seat in next year's midterm elections. For the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in all of Texas’ 36 congressional districts, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

From Texas Standard.

The deadline for Texas candidates to file to run in the 2018 primaries was Monday. And if you’ve been trying to keep up with the latest rash of Congressional retirements and scandals, plus what’s turned out to be a pretty crowded field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates, you may be wondering how to sort through all of the noise.

The Austin American-Statesman’s Political Editor Bob Gee highlights five Texas races that are worth a closer look.

Monday was the last day anyone could file their candidacy in a statewide primary election.  And one of those candidates making a last minute filing is former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.


From Houston Public Media:

Houston investor Andrew White declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor Thursday. The son of the late Gov. Mark White made the announcement a day after former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez announced her candidacy.

HOUSTON — Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is making it official Thursday morning: He is running for governor, joining the crowded Democratic primary with four days to go before the filing deadline.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Lupe Valdez is running for governor. The longtime Dallas County sheriff, the daughter of South Texas migrant workers, said Wednesday she will resign to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018. Valdez, 70, is the highest-profile Democrat in what's sure to be an uphill battle. But that’s nothing new for her.

Local television newsman Brett Shipp has left his position at Dallas-based WFAA to run for Congress, according to a news report from the station.

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