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Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Legislation by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to strengthen the criminal gun background check system has been tacked onto a massive spending bill Congress is expected to consider this week in order to avoid another government shutdown, several news outlets reported Wednesday.

Congressional negotiators delayed the release of a $1.3 trillion spending bill Tuesday as the clock ticked closer to a Friday shutdown deadline amid battles over more than a dozen unresolved policy matters.

Leaders originally planned to release the details of the bill over the weekend but the spending talks remain mired in fights over immigration, gun control and health care.

Updated at 3:46 p.m. EDT

State elections officials need more funding and better safeguards against cyberattacks in order to prepare to defend the 2018 midterm elections, according to new Senate intelligence committee recommendations on Tuesday.

Updated at 9:39 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a Republican challenge to the newly drawn Pennsylvania congressional map ahead of the 2018 elections.

The decision means Republicans have few, if any, options remaining to try to stem a map that will almost certainly result in Democrats picking up potentially three or four seats and could make half a dozen or more competitive.

Tuesday is the filing deadline for candidates for Pennsylvania's May 15 primaries.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The losing candidate in the Democratic primary for Dallas County district attorney says she will not request a recount.

Updated on March 29 at 4:50 p.m. ET

With his decision to replace VA Secretary David Shulkin, President Trump is once again setting records for turnover. No elected first-term president in the past 100 years has had this much Cabinet turnover this early in his presidency. And since the establishment of the secretary of Veterans Affairs as a Cabinet position in 1989, Shulkin has served the shortest of any secretary, with the exception of those who came on board to serve out the tail end of a president's term.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

The first Valentine’s Day note that Kevin Dyes received from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last month was a “cease-and-desist” letter. The next two were open records requests.

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

Votes are still being tallied in Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District — and it appears nearly every single one will need to be counted.

The race between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb is down to the wire for this seat deep in Trump country, with confidence at Lamb's campaign early in the night giving way to supporters holding their collective breath as the results tightened to a near tie through the evening.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott himself was opposed to the controversial “bathroom bill” that dominated debate at the Texas Capitol for much of 2017, according to a state representative involved in keeping the legislation from passing the Texas House.

Brandon Thibodeaux/Bob Daemmrich

President Donald Trump has asked former national campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson to re-join the Trump Campaign as a senior advisor, two weeks after he tapped Brad Parscale, another Texan, to serve as his campaign manager. 

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

House intelligence committee Republicans on Monday cleared President Trump's campaign of colluding with the Russians who attacked the 2016 U.S. election, concluding a probe that minority Democrats had long argued was focused on appeasing the White House.

From Texas Standard.

In the 2016 presidential election, evangelical voters were some of President Donald Trump’s most stalwart supporters. But new data from the Pew Research Center indicates that his support among white evangelical women has dropped about 13 percentage points, to 60 percent, compared with about a year ago.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A candidate in the Democratic primary for Dallas County district attorney says she has requested a recount after losing the race by a small margin. 

On the night of March 12, 1968, TV audiences saw an American presidency of monumental proportions begin to crumble before their eyes.

The occasion was the New Hampshire presidential preference primary, the "first in the nation" primary that has long been a tradition in the Granite State.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT News

Tuesday's primary election sparked a surge of voters, which is unusual in a non-presidential election year.

Three lawmakers from North Texas lost their primary and about 30 races statewide are now heading to a runoff May 22. (Here are more results from the night.)

Ross Ramsey, executive editor of the Texas Tribune, joined the Friday Conversation to make sense of this wild week in Texas politics.

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.

Launching the 2018 election cycle, Texans cast ballots in primaries on Tuesday — leaving several races headed for runoffs.

Election night in Texas offers several takeaways of note, as we look ahead. Here are six to consider:

President Trump insists his isn't a White House in chaos, but it's hard to deny the near constant churn of key aides, including Tuesday's announced departure of economic adviser Gary Cohn. A full 43 percent of top-level positions in the Trump White House have seen turnover. That is not normal.

In fact, the Trump White House has had more turnover among senior aides in the first 13 1/2 months of Trump's term than his four most recent predecessors had after two years.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Robin Jerstad: Cruz

For much of the past year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz did not acknowledge Beto O'Rourke’s name — or even, for a while, the fact that he had a Democratic opponent for re-election.

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

Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas is all but certain to break a major glass ceiling and send at least one, and likely two, Hispanic women to Congress next year. 

Andrew Cline / Shutterstock

In the first primary since President Trump was elected, Texas voters on Tuesday, and thousands more during early voting, cast their ballots to determine the party nominees for the November midterm election.

We’re a little bit closer to knowing who will be on the ballot in November. Republicans and Democrats selected most of their nominees for the general election this fall, but statewide, the races didn't quite live up to the hype. Of the highest offices on Texas ballots, only one went to a runoff. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

As returns rolled in Tuesday night for Texas’s 2018 party primaries, dozens of campaigns came to an end, including — to no one's surprise — those of the two Republicans challenging Gov. Greg Abbott.

With more than 90 percent of the vote, the governor easily claimed his spot on the general election ballot.

Megan Zerez / KERA News

In Collin County, Republican Angela Paxton defeated Phillip Huffines for the State Senate District 8 seat. It was the most expensive primary race – and among the most heated.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Texans cast their votes in primaries Tuesday, the first contests of the 2018 election cycle. Democrats turned out in numbers not seen in more than a decade — with outcomes in various races bringing about both history and controversy — though far more Republican voters showed up at the polls across the deep red state.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

It's Election Day in Texas! The primary will determine the party nominees for the November midterm elections. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Find information on sample ballots, voter ID and more in this guide.

From Texas Standard.

There’s not much more politicking left in the 2018 Texas primary elections. The mailers have been sent, the town halls have been held, the donations have been deposited. There’s not much left to do but wait for the returns – and vote on Tuesday, if you haven’t yet. You can be sure that political journalists across Texas are already writing outlines for Wednesday’s news, gaming out possible outcomes and wondering about what it all means.

Campaign Facebook pages

Over her 16 years on the State Board of Education, Pat Hardy has rallied for her share of socially conservative measures. She's endorsed keeping "pro-American" values in history textbooks. She's backed emphasizing "states' rights" instead of slavery as the cause of the Civil War. And she's supported teaching "both sides" of arguments around climate change.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

On Tuesday, Texas Republicans and Democrats will choose the candidates they want on the ballot in November. The primary election includes several races for statewide office, including commissioner of agriculture, land commissioner — and governor. 

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