Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

Kent Wang / flickr.com

Voters decide two Dallas City Council seats in Saturday’s runoff election.  In Districts 5 and 14, the runoff rhetoric has swirled around personality and race. 

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

"That was a mistake," Ken Emanuelson says of his statement at a May 20 event organized by the Dallas County Republican Party. His full quote then: “I’m going to be real honest with you. The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

“I truly understand the pain, confusion and feelings of betrayal my decision has brought you," city council member Delia Jasso wrote, "and I take complete ownership for causing these raw emotions.”

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Three out of four Fort Worth City Council incumbents are keeping their jobs. Another is in a runoff. So the council’s direction is unlikely to change.

BJ Austin / KERA News

After Saturday’s election, Hispanic representation on the Dallas City Council could take a step back at a time when the Latino population is growing. And, there will also be fewer women on the council. 

Kent Wang / flickr.com

Does it matter if there are fewer women elected to the Dallas City Council?  Two veteran councilwomen say it “may” in some ways.  Tomorrow’s council elections will end a female council majority.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Current leadership on Irving’s School Board may shift after this Saturday’s election. As a result, the new leaders could change the district’s direction.

Will voters want you back if you quit during your term in office?  Will they think you’re ineffective if don’t vote on big issues because of a family conflict? Those are two of the biggest questions in the Fort Worth District 8 council race between incumbent Kelly Allen Gray and the council member she replaced, Kathleen Hicks. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Former Fort Worth Council member Jim Lane wants his job back.  Sal Espino, the council’s only Hispanic, says he deserves to stay.

For Northside voters in  District 2 the election probably comes down to this: are you better off today with Sal Espino than you were eight years ago when Jim Lane stepped down after 12 years on the council?

BJ Austin / KERA News

It’s the end of an era in Dallas City Council District 14.  The outspoken Angela Hunt is stepping down because of term limits and seven candidates are lined up to take her place.  It’ll be a big job for the newcomer chosen to represent a diverse and demanding district. So, what do constituents want?

City of Dallas

Seven candidates are vying to replace Angela Hunt to represent a diverse district that includes portions of downtown and the arts district; lower Greenville Avenue;  Cedar Springs and East Dallas.   Here's what they had to say on taxes, gas drilling, the Trinity River Tollway, arts funding and more.

Joe Berti

State emergency officials say the West Fertilizer plant where an explosion killed 14 people was under no obligation to have an evacuation plan. A Homeland Security Hearing also revealed that other North Texas Counties store ammonium nitrate, a substance that was kept at the blast site.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told lawmakers there are more than 1,000 facilities statewide that store it in some capacity

Incumbent Gwen Craig will have to defeat Hispanic activist Manuel Benavidez and retired teacher Lee Mosty to keep her place on the Irving ISD School Board. Craig was elected in 2010 two months after the board hired Superintendent Dana Bedden away from a school district in Georgia, a controversial decision.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Two of the biggest names in the 2016 presidential derby are in Dallas today: Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and brother of the ex-president, talked with the Dallas World Affairs Council. And Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and first lady, will speak to a closed meeting of housing executives tonight.

U.S. State Dept., Gage Skidmore (cc) / wikimedia

Two potential presidential candidates are in Dallas today. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will talk about immigration to one organization. Then in the evening, past Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will address a group of apartment executives.  

                                  

The polling folks at Gallup have done a post-election analysis, and for Lone Star politics-watchers, there's a shock: "Although Texas has voted Republican in each of the past nine presidential elections, Gallup classifies it as competitive, given that slightly more of its residents identify as or lean Republican than Democratic."

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Newly elected lawmakers sometimes blend into the woodwork in Austin. But that’s not likely to happen to Republican Jason Villalba whose District 114 includes parts of North Dallas, Preston Hollow and Lake Highlands.

In the first week of the session Villalba is already gaining a reputation as an independent voice who wants to tackle big problems. 

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas is a bright young Hispanic star who will be sworn in this week in Washington. The Republican Party nationally hopes Cruz will be part of the solution to its growing problem luring Hispanic voters.

Almost nobody had heard of Cruz when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But when he stepped in front of a microphone, he could light up a room in a way that made the other Republican candidates seem lifeless.

State Senator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, wants Governor Rick Perry to go further in cleaning up CPRIT, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

After 20 years in the Senate, Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison bid farewell to colleagues in an emotional speech that urged more bipartisan cooperation.

The former North Texas congressman helped found the Tea Party-affiliated group, which powered Republicans to a House majority in 2010. The Washington Post also reports that two other top FreedomWorks officials have left.

Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.

The Texas Governor's short-lived presidential campaign wins a medal of (dis)honor from 'Washington Post' political blogger Chris Cillizza

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz has come out of his victory over Paul Sadler swinging. In a speech to the Federalist Society on Friday, he joked, "I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama."

The lawyer for Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price calls the government’s forfeiture case against Price “nothing more than a sham or a ruse” to gather more evidence for a criminal investigation.

So that petition encouraging Texas to secede from the union, which has been signed by tens of thousands on the whitehouse.gov site? The press secretary for Texas Gov. Rick Perry has weighed in, and it sounds like the governor thinks the United States should stay united.

They're asking politely. Malcontents from 20 different states are petitioning the White House to allow them to secede from the union.

Using the White House website's We the People function, in which petitions garnering at least 25,000 signatures get a response from the president, people from the state of Texas are asking to "peacefully ... withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government."

NPR

Texas has sued the federal government 23 times since President Obama was first elected, and the legal skirmishes often boil down to one thing:  regulation. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas Senator Wendy Davis says her top legislative priority is education funding. The newly re-elected lawmaker who beat Republican Mark Shelton says she is not just for public schools, but also for higher education.

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