Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus stunned colleagues and political observers alike when he announced that he would not seek re-election to his place in the Texas House of Representatives a few weeks ago. The news also meant that Straus would not be returning to his position as Speaker. In light of his upcoming departure, Texas House Republicans are seeking to have a greater influence over the choice of his replacement.

Texas Tribune Political Reporter Patrick Svitek says that on Friday, the House Republican Caucus agreed to make changes to their process for selecting a speaker candidate.

U.S. House website

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold will repay $84,000 in taxpayer money spent to settle a sexual harassment claim against him from his former spokeswoman, he told KRIS-TV Monday.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold settled a sexual harassment claim brought by a former staffer with $84,000 in taxpayer funds, according to a Politico report published Friday.

Joe Barton’s fall from grace happened quickly. Last week, a nude selfie rumored to be from the longtime North Texas Congressman began circulating on social media. Barton apologized for the photo and text, saying he’d sent them to a woman he was dating.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Trump brushed aside reports that he is considering replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, though multiple news outlets say Tillerson could be shown the door within weeks.

Pressed about those reports Thursday morning during an Oval Office meeting, Trump said only: "He's here. Rex is here."

The cryptic answer did little to dispel speculation that Tillerson's days as the country's top diplomat could be numbered.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, is retiring from the Texas House after 13 terms. 

The field for the 2018 party primaries in Texas is taking shape. The deadline for candidates to file is coming up, and political strategists have been trying to decipher what Democratic victories in other states mean for Texas. 


6 Possible Hurdles For The GOP Tax Plan

Nov 26, 2017

President Trump boasted earlier this month that Republicans were working together to pass sweeping tax cuts in the waning weeks of 2017.

"We're working to give the American people a giant tax cut for Christmas," Trump said. "We are giving them a big, beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut."

But first, GOP lawmakers will have to resolve some major policy differences that could derail the bill.

Official House portraits

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week. 

Bob Daemmrich: Ted Cruz/Roy Moore campaign/Shelby Knowles: John Cornyn

WASHINGTON — Texas' two U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, on Monday withdrew their support for Roy Moore, the embattled GOP nominee for Senate in Alabama. 

Nelson campaign/Laura Buckman: Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is getting his first Democratic opponent for re-election.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

It's an off-election year, but voters in North Texas still had several items to consider, including seven proposed amendments to the state constitution and bond packages. 

Here's a roundup of results from Tuesday’s elections. This post will be updated throughout the evening. 

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has emerged as a potential Democratic challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018.

Facebook

President Donald Trump is nominating former state District Judge Ryan Patrick, son of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, the White House announced Wednesday.

Allison Shelley for The Texas Tribune

The powerful chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Dallas Republican, announced his retirement from Congress on Tuesday afternoon. He is currently serving his eighth term in the House.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus says he will not run for re-election in 2018.

Courtesy of Andrew White Campaign

Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is mulling a run for governor as a Democrat in 2018. 

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

DALLAS — As the Texas GOP gears up for a potentially bruising primary season, some of its leaders came to a conference here this weekend with a message of caution: Let’s not go overboard in 2018.

The Texas Tribune

Most Texas voters don’t want to remove Confederate memorials or put them in museums, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

State Rep. Victoria Neave Pleads No Contest To June DWI Charge

Oct 20, 2017
Dallas Police Department

State Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, said Friday she had pleaded no contest to a June charge of driving while intoxicated.

Graphic by Bryant Ju and Ryan Murphy / The Texas Tribune

For Hurricane Harvey recovery, Texans want federal, state and local officials to focus on debris cleanup and disposal, housing, public health and environmental contamination, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Official House Portrait

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, on Thursday walked back controversial comments about sexual assault she made a day earlier.

The Texas Tribune

Donald Trump remains highly popular with Texas Republicans nearly a year after his election as the 45th president, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection.

But that seems a long time ago.

It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy.

Laura Skelding: O'Rourke/Douglas Young: Cruz / The Texas Tribune

After getting outraised by his Democratic opponent earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appears to have regained fundraising momentum from U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

SAN ANTONIO — Greg Abbott may not have a serious opponent for re-election yet, but he is already running against one group in particular: those who say Texas’ Republican governor can’t make further inroads with the Hispanic community in the era of Texas' "sanctuary cities" ban and Donald Trump.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump will travel to Dallas in late October for a major fundraiser, according to an invitation obtained by the Texas Tribune.

The event will take place on Oct. 25, and money raised will go into a joint fundraising committee that benefits Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee. Trump was due to fundraise in Dallas on Sept. 27 but the event was cancelled following Hurricane Harvey.

Two Texas Republicans In Congress Open Door To 'Bump Stock' Ban

Oct 4, 2017
Chris Maddaloni

Two Texas Republicans in Congress – Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Bill Flores – expressed interest Wednesday in exploring a federal ban on a type of gun attachment used by the gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Max Goldberg / Wikimedia Commons

University of North Texas Neal Smatresk has expressed his opposition to Donald Trump Jr.'s upcoming appearance that's part of the school's speaker series.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Rex Tillerson denied a report out early Wednesday that he considered resigning as secretary of state, but he did not deny another detail in the report — that he called President Trump a "moron."

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