Greg Abbott | KERA News

Greg Abbott

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The Tea Party had its share of success in Tuesday’s primary runoffs, and more may lie ahead. KERA's Sam Baker looks ahead to the fall elections with Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

The general election is still six months away, but the candidates for Texas governor are already tussling about debates. Republican Greg Abbott got it started Monday by saying he would accept two debates – one in McAllen and one in Dallas. On Tuesday, Democrat Wendy Davis, speaking in North Texas, said she wants six debates, including one in the Rio Grande Valley.

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.

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

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.

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:

The process of electing a new governor in Texas begins in earnest Tuesday, when Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis are expected to easily dispatch their primary opponents and move on to the Nov. 4 battle.

As if they hadn't already.

Both Abbott, 56, the state's attorney general and a former state Supreme Court judge, and Davis, 50, a state senator and former Fort Worth City Council member, have been amassing money and press since at least last fall.

Friends from decades ago are at the center of the emotionally-charged, legal battle over same-sex marriage in Texas. 

But they’re on opposite sides.

Plano attorney Mark Phariss is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to a federal judge ruling Wednesday that Texas' ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Greg Abbott, the state attorney general and candidate for governor, is defending the ban and has filed notice he’ll appeal the judge’s ruling.

Anne Marie Fox / Focus Features

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A big weekend for a Dallas-themed movie; Greg Abbott's personal connection to the Texas gay marriage case; Allen ISD is closing its palatial stadium due to cracks; and more.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

What does Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott have in common with Mark Phariss, one of the plaintiffs who sued the state to challenge its gay marriage ban?

They were law school classmates. They knew each other. Phariss tells KERA they were good friends.

And now the attorney general and Phariss, an attorney who lives in Plano with his long-time partner, are on opposite sides of Texas’ brewing battle over gay marriage.

Phariss told KERA Thursday morning that during law school at Vanderbilt, he discussed politics over dinner with Abbott and his wife. Phariss is a Democrat, Abbott a Republican.

Bob Daemmrich / flickr.com/thetexastribune

After what are shaping up to be easy primary wins in March for the leading gubernatorial candidates, Republican Greg Abbott starts the general election race for governor with an 11-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Meanwhile, several statewide races on the Republican primary ballot — for lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller — appear headed for May runoffs. None of the leaders in those races looks close to the 50 percent support they would need to win next month's primary outright.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Update: Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, responded to Ted Nugent's apology with the following statement:

"I believe Ted Nugent recognized his language was wrong and he rightly apologized. This is not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way. It's time to move beyond this, and I will continue to focus on the issues that matter to Texans."

Original story: Ted Nugent has apologized for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel," but a spokesman for the Wendy Davis campaign says that isn’t good enough.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Rock musician Ted Nugent became the latest flashpoint in the governor’s race as early voting got underway Tuesday.

Alana Rocha (@viaAlana) / Texas Tribune

Rock musician Ted Nugent appeared with Republican governor hopeful Greg Abbott in North Texas this morning – and that’s attracting criticism from Wendy Davis, Abbott’s Democratic rival.

Davis, in Fort Worth this morning, said she thought that Abbott appearing with Nugent on the first day of early voting spoke volumes about the Republican candidate, saying it was “an insult to every woman.” Davis said that’s because Nugent has demeaned women verbally and otherwise.

Doug James / Shutterstock

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A rocker is attracting criticism; another lawsuit in the Six Flags over Texas roller coaster incident; early voting starts today; and more:

Laura Buckman / The Texas Tribune

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis says she supports gay marriage. She also called on her opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop defending the definition of marriage in the Texas constitution as only between one man and one woman. 

The battle over the border is escalating between Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Abbott and the likely Democratic nominee Wendy Davis. It began last week when Abbott likened public corruption in South Texas to “third-world country practices” while unveiling his border security plan while in Dallas. Davis calls Abbott's comment "divisive" and says it's harmful to economic development along the border. Abbott may say more on the subject when he makes a campaign appearance in El Paso today.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Greg Abbott, the Republican attorney general and candidate for governor, stopped in Dallas Tuesday to unveil a $300 million border security plan that would also target domestic violence and sex crimes.

Speaking to a Dallas nonprofit that helps victims of child sex trafficking, Abbott argued that the federal government has failed to secure the Texas border.

“Powerful and ruthless international cartels and violent transnational gangs are operating within our state,” Abbott said. “Even within our prison system. And narco-related cross-border crime is on the rise.” 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has released letters from her two adult daughters who say they want to correct “untrue things” and “ludicrous comments” about their mother.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

James O’Keefe is at it again. The controversial conservative activist has focused his hidden camera on Battleground Texas – the Democratic operation trying to turn Texas blue.

His Project Veritas operation released a video this week showing a Battleground Texas worker laughing and talking about Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, being in a wheelchair.

Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis announced Tuesday she raised $12.2 million in the last half of 2013 for her governor's campaign. Republican Greg Abbott reported raising $11.5 million in the same time period but says he has a total of $27 million on hand to wage his campaign. Political analysts say each candidate will need close to $40 million to be competitive if they become their parties' nominees as expected. Davis, who entered the race in October, currently has about half as much money her her campaign account as Abbott. But she's demonstrated an ability to keep pace with his fundraising in the past six months.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis outlined a plan Thursday for attracting more top students to teaching and for improving the pay of those already in the classroom.

Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.

Greg Abbott, the party's front-runner for governor, posed for a recent cover of Texas Monthly with a rifle over his shoulder. Nearly every other GOP statewide candidate has put out pictures or videos proudly displaying firearms.

Tea party activists have been gunning for Sen. John Cornyn. But even they were surprised when Steve Stockman, a Republican Congressman from the Houston suburb of Friendswood, filed on the last possible day to run against Cornyn in the March Republican primary. 

Former Texas Republican Party Chair Tom Pauken is ending his campaign for governor saying he can no longer ask supporters and conservatives for help when there is "no realistic path to victory."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading Republican candidate for governor, was in Plano Tuesday to focus on schools.  It was the first of his statewide visits before finalizing his education policy. His likely Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, wasn’t there, but she was still part of the discussion.

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says criticism surrounding the state's first election under a new voter ID mandate is "overhyped" and being driven by partisans.
 
Abbott told The Associated Press on Monday that requiring some voters to sign affidavits was proven to be "no big deal" during early voting.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for Texas governor, holds a single-digit lead over the likely Democratic nominee, state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

In a head-to-head race, Abbott got 40 percent of registered voters to Davis’ 34 percent, with 25 percent of the voters undecided. In a three-way general election, he would get 40 percent, Davis would get 35 percent and Libertarian Kathie Glass would get 5 percent.

“What you’ve got is a race in which, for the first time in a long time, the Democrat is as well-known as the Republican at the outset of the race,” said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.

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