Elections | KERA News

Elections

Monday is the first day of early voting for the May 27 Democratic and Republican primary runoff elections.

The Republican race for Agriculture Commissioner is between two former state legislators, Stephenville's Sid Miller and Longview's Tommy Merritt. And unlike the other GOP primaries, this one hasn't only focused on who's the most conservative – for the most part.

That's because for Miller, this race is about conservative credentials. And he'll quickly let you know that he's got empirical data on his side.

"You know Rice University took all the votes … and ranked the legislators from one to 50 on how conservative they were. And I was ranked No. 2 and my opponent was ranked the most liberal of the Republicans," Miller says.

Texas Tribune

As Democrats cling to hopes that a Dallas-area district will flip to their column, House District 105 candidates Susan Motley and Terry Meza are headed for a runoff election May 27 that will decide which of them will take on a former Republican lawmaker in November's general election.

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

Voters on Saturday overwhelmingly approved major city and school bond packages and re-elected some familiar faces in North Texas municipal elections. Here are some key races:

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

We’re two and a half weeks away from the May 27 statewide runoff, but there’s also an election Saturday. Dozens of local municipalities will be voting on mayors and city councils, taxes, school boards and bonds. In this week’s Friday Conversation, KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter talks with our political reporter, Shelley Kofler, about Saturday’s top races.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

On primary night two months ago, Ken Paxton had an 11-point edge over Dan Branch in the Republican race for attorney general. Since then, Paxton has been fined for breaking a state securities law. With the May 27 runoff looming, both candidates are vying for the state’s top legal office. In an interview with KERA, Paxton defended his record.

Texas Tribune

Pat Hardy, a 12-year incumbent on the State Board of Education, is facing a tough challenge from a conservative activist in a Republican primary runoff that could shift the balance of power on the board. 

Tea Party groups in the district, which includes Parker County and parts of Tarrant and Dallas counties, have thrown their support behind Hardy's opponent, Eric Mahroum of Fort Worth.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Mark Graham / The Texas Tribune

The gloves came off Wednesday during a lieutenant governor's debate in Dallas.

The ad wars in the race became the focus of the last scheduled media debate between incumbent David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick, the state senator from Houston.  One of them will become the GOP nominee on May 27. 

After finishing second in the Republican primary, Dewhurst has spent millions on TV attack ads questioning Patrick’s 1980s bankruptcy -- and his character.

Dan Patrick campaign / DewFeed.com

Just when you thought you've seen it all in the Republican lieutenant governor runoff.

The ongoing battle between David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick took a creative twist Wednesday -- and it's all inspired by Frozen, the hit Disney movie that features the hot song "Let It Go" and the Norwegian princess with icy powers.

First, the Dewhurst campaign posted a YouTube video that features Patrick lip-synching to a version of “Let It Go." Then Patrick unveiled a post on its DewFeed page, a site that resembles BuzzFeed, complete with animated Frozen GIFs.

Caydee Daniel / KERA

KERA has invited both Republican candidates for lieutenant governor to our studios to discuss their qualifications for the job and their visions for the state.

David Dewhurst, the incumbent, sat down with KERA on Tuesday, on the eve of the last scheduled media debate before his May 27 runoff election with Dan Patrick, the state senator from Houston.

Houston Public Media/YouTube

Because of a satellite problem, the KERA-TV feed of Friday night's Republican lieutenant governor debate switched to Spanish midway through the debate.

You can see the full English-language version of the debate between David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick below -- it will also re-air Friday at 9 p.m. on KERA-TV (Channel 13).

Daniel Kramer/Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst got some good news this weekend in his uphill battle to hold onto his job. A former foe, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, told KERA he will be endorsing Dewhurst. The news comes two days after Dewhurst, the incumbent, and Dan Patrick, the frontrunner, debated in Houston.

Shutterstock

In today's All Things Considered local block from the KERA Newsroom: We’ve heard from parents, educators, and elected officials on the controversial home-rule plan to remake Dallas schools, but what do students think? Bill Zeeble talks to some students about the changes they want to see. And All Things Considered host Justin Martin talks with Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey about tonight’s lieutenant governor run-off debate.

Mark Graham / Texas Tribune

A Republican running for Wendy Davis’ state senate seat wants to consider changes to the $2 billion fund that lawmakers created to finance water projects. Voters approved the fund when they adopted Proposition 6 last fall.

Republican lieutenant governor candidates, waging their election battle, have used video clips without permission from a debate at KERA and made questionable claims. PolitiFact Texas at the Austin American-Statesman is setting the record straight.

LM Otero / Associated Press

Editor’s note, April 25: KERA has received numerous queries about whether the station played any role in a commercial released last week by the campaign of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Texans have asked whether we gave permission for the campaign to use images of our reporter asking a question during KERA’s Jan. 27 debate. They’ve asked whether our reporter agreed to appear in the Dewhurst ad. The answer to both is an emphatic “No.” The campaign did not ask KERA for permission to use the footage, and when the ad was released on April 16, KERA immediately objected. The Dewhurst campaign responded by saying it would not pull the ad. We've posted the full debate question, answer and follow-ups to provide context for the brief clip that’s seen in the ad. You can see them, and the full debate, below.

State Rep. Ken Paxton, a McKinney Republican in a runoff election for attorney general, says he's checking financial and business disclosures he's required to make to state agencies. It is unknown whether Paxton, seeking to be Texas' top law enforcement official, has broken any laws. He faces Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas in the May 27 Republican primary.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

On Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis continued her assault on Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s pre-kindergarten plan, this time in Dallas.

But as she spoke at the annual conference for the Texas Retired Teachers Association, a new national poll was released, showing the state senator from Fort Worth has made little headway in chiseling down Abbott’s lead.

Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, wants copies of any photos taken when his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, met Thursday with President Barack Obama. 

To get them, Abbott has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House.

Davis’ campaign says she had a private meeting with the president at the LBJ Library in Austin, where he helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Dallas and Fort Worth school districts are ramping up efforts to enroll more eligible children in pre-kindergarten.  The push comes as gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis spar over who has a better plan for early education. 

Inside the pre-kindergarten class at Dallas’ Good Street Learning Center, it might seem like the 4-year-olds keeping time with rhythm sticks are just playing a game.

In Fort Worth today, Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, again said he supports equal pay for men and women but he doesn't think government should enforce it. Patrick and incumbent Lt. Governor Davis Dewhurst will face each other in a May 27 runoff for their party's nomination. Dewhurst, who presides over the Texas Senate, has said he would again allow an equal pay measure to be voted on if enough senators wanted that to happen. The legislature passed a bill last session allowing employees more time to file equal pay claims but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.

Texas Tribune

Democrats in the Texas Senate are asking the lieutenant governor to investigate pay discrimination for women in state agencies, including the attorney general’s office.

It’s the latest salvo being fired by supporters of Democrat Wendy Davis, who has made equal pay a key issue in her race for governor against Republican Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

After finishing 13 points behind Texas Sen. Dan Patrick in the Republican primary, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told Republican women in Arlington on Thursday he may need to introduce himself to voters again, even though he’s held statewide office for 15 years.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dan Patrick brought out some star power in Highland Park: Mike Huckabee. The former presidential candidate and Fox News host focused on Patrick’s surprising lead in the March 4 primary.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Sen. Ted Cruz visited Fort Worth Wednesday night to bestow his endorsement and star power on the Republican runoff campaign of Konni Burton, a tea party candidate who wants to fill the state senate seat Wendy Davis is giving up.

David Chong / KERA News

When real estate developer Don Huffines narrowly defeated John Carona, Dallas County’s long-serving state senator, in the Republican primary, he promised to take a conservative, tea party approach to issues in Austin. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign says he would not sign the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act, a measure that would give women more time to successfully make pay discrimination claims in state court.

Democratic opponent Wendy Davis introduced that measure in the Texas Senate last session.  The legislature passed it, but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.

Davis has hammered Abbott on the issue for two weeks claiming he doesn’t have women’s best interests at heart.

RedState Women

A new conservative Texas political action committee launched online this week. Named "RedState Women," the group wants to counter efforts by Wendy Davis to attract female voters. 

Cari Christman is chief of staff for a Texas senator and executive director for the PAC. She said Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis doesn’t speak for all Texas women.

Democrat Wendy Davis again accused her Republican opponent for governor of "dodging" when asked if he would have signed state legislation that guaranteed equal pay for women and all Texans. When asked about the Texas version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter law, Abbott told the television interviewer adequate protection already existed. Davis says that's not true in Texas's state courts, where Abbott as attorney general successfully defended the state against a wage discrimination claim made by a female Indian professor at Prairie View A&M University. Here's more on the story:

Daniel Kramer/Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

As lieutenant governor candidates David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick head into a May 27 runoff election, both are standing behind comments they made last fall, even though a fact-checking group has decided some of what they said is false or misleading.

Daniel Kramer/Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

The runoff battle for lieutenant governor took off today with Dan Patrick’s campaign saying incumbent David Dewhurst might as well give up.

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