Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

http://www.flickr.com/photos/epler/ / Jim Epler/Flickr

Dallas made the first cut in the competition to host the 2016 GOP Convention.

The Republican National Convention just announced that Dallas and five other cities are moving on to the next round of consideration.

The other cities are Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas.

Two cities were cut: Phoenix and Columbus.

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.

Wikimedia Commons

Robert Strauss, the Dallas lawyer who became a political power on the national and international stage, died Wednesday at age 95.

Strauss was a staunch Democrat, but he advised presidents from both sides of the aisle, from Lyndon Johnson to George H.W. Bush.

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.

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.

DPS to Roll Out Mobile Stations to Process Voter IDs

Mar 17, 2014
Julian Aguilar / Texas Tribune

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced on Tuesday it is offering another way for potential voters to obtain a photo ID needed to vote.

Twenty-five mobile locations will begin processing the election identification certificates on Oct. 1. The documents, which are free for applicants who meet voter requirements and show proof of identity and citizenship, are also available at driver's license offices. 

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.

Last week’s GOP primary showed the continued strength of the Tea Party in Texas. But it also showed a weakening of another stalwart Republican demographic: the businessperson.

First, a disclaimer: The results don't prove anything definitive. One election does not a trend make. And it's not hard to find people who say the state's business leaders still have a large role in Republican Party politics.

"I think the business community hasn't lost its voice," Rice University Political Science department chair Mark Jones says. "But its influence is much less then it was say 10 years ago."

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.

Daniel Kramer/Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

The top two finishers in the Republican race for lieutenant governor are taking a deep breath Wednesday before they come out swinging in round two.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Two North Texans will be battling it out in the Republican race for Attorney General. With 44 percent of the vote, State Senator Ken Paxton topped State Representative Dan Branch, who got 33 percent. Neither topped 50 percent, so the two now head into a May runoff.

As Texans decide primary races today, the name of the game in the GOP contest for lieutenant governor is coming in second and forcing the leading candidate into a runoff. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In the three-way Republican race for attorney general, candidates are trying to outdo the next as the most conservative. Their strategies may make political sense, but they don’t exactly reflect what the attorney general actually does.

timesnewsnetwork / Flickr.com

Same-sex marriage has long faced opposition in Texas, especially among Republicans. But, across the country, same-sex marriage is gaining supporters. That could change attitudes in Texas, which may ultimately affect the way political candidates treat the issue.

Shutterstock

The most strategically important legislative race this year may be in Tarrant County. It’s for the Texas Senate seat that Wendy Davis is giving up and there’s a lot at stake for both major political parties.

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.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

At the age of 90, Congressman Ralph Hall is the oldest person in Congress. That hasn’t stopped the Republican from pursuing an 18th term. This time, Hall has some stiff competition in the March 4 primary from opponents who say it's time he retires.

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

Across Texas, several incumbent Republicans are facing aggressive challengers in this year’s primary, and Ted Cruz is part of the reason why. 

His upset of David Dewhurst, the longtime lieutenant governor, in the 2012 U.S. Senate race has encouraged other tea party candidates to run for the first time. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

For the first time in more than 40 years, an incumbent isn't running for district attorney in Tarrant County. Joe Shannon Jr., the 13th criminal district attorney, announced his retirement not long after a sexual harassment case against him was settled, ultimately costing taxpayers about $500,000.

Three Republican candidates are vying to replace Shannon.

Before we talk names, and qualifications, consider these numbers: The job pays about $200,000. The elected official will manage a budget of more than $35 million. And the office handles roughly 45,000 criminal cases a year.

State Senator and Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Patrick may have taken a political hit this week, when a story broke accusing him of employing an undocumented worker in the 1980s. 

The story was reported by The Dallas Morning News and KTRK Houston ABC, but the two got wind of the story when another Lt. Governor candidate, Jerry Patterson, gave them the information - which he hired a private decective to gather .

It's called opposition research. And it's an age-old political tactic that often provides ammunition to candidates trying to gain the upper-hand against an opponent.

His mother may not like to hear this, but Jason Stanford is an opposition researcher.

"Oh God, yes, my mom tells people I'm a used car dealer," Stanford jokes.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

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

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. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Who could beat Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins in the fall?  That issue is at the heart of the race between two former prosecutors who want the GOP nomination. 

Republicans trying to break the control Democrats hold in Dallas County have set their sights on Watkins.

The Texas Tribune

She’s the likely Democratic nominee for Texas governor, but inquiring minds are asking: Where does Wendy Davis stand on medical marijuana? Abortion? And did she really fudge the details of her life story? She’s been making the rounds to clear all that up, including a profile that runs in The New York Times this weekend.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

State Rep. Jason Villalba, a Republican from North Dallas, wrote an open letter Tuesday to his GOP colleagues running for lieutenant governor. The topic? Immigration. The tone? Well, read on...

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.

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