Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

CHRIS EUDAILY / TPR News

The midterm elections are often the overlooked middle child of any election cycle. But while they don’t get as much press as races during presidential election years, the stakes are high.

Illustration by Anthony Truong-Nguyen

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are far ahead of their Republican primary opponents in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but the Democrats running for those two high offices face more difficult paths to their party’s nomination.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

Texas may be a red state, but for at least the weekend, it served the role of a battleground for two party leaders determined to put their spin on President Donald Trump's agenda in the lead-up to the midterm elections. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Russian nationals working to interfere with the 2016 presidential election visited Texas in 2014, spread derogatory information against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz during the Republican primary and posed as Americans while communicating with a person “affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization,” according to an indictment issued Friday.

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is aligning with President Donald Trump in highlighting the lack of evidence in recently issued indictments that Russia's government colluded with Trump's 2016 campaign to influence the election. 

Rodger Mallison/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley is angry.

The county's top elected official ignited a political firestorm a week ago when he said the state is refusing to pay what it should for public education, and he accused legislators of blaming local officials for raising property taxes.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is just back from a trip to the nation's capital. She was the only Texan at Monday’s White House ceremony where President Trump unveiled his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been fighting securities fraud charges for most of his first term, collected $84,000 in gifts last year to help pay for his legal defense, he says in a newly released financial disclosure statement.

From Texas Standard.

Candidates all over the Lone Star State are pouring their hearts, souls and resources into their campaigns. The primaries in Texas are only three weeks away.

While resources are a major challenge for every candidate, that’s particularly true for those with little name recognition. Some organizations like Emily’s List and Annie’s List are making money available to the record number of female candidates running this year. but the money is not available to everyone.

Is Texas turning blue? That's the question, dream and lie (depending on your point of view) being discussed across the state.

It's the dream of Democrats, who haven't won a statewide office in Texas since the early '90s. It's a big lie, say Republicans, who argue support for President Trump has been more positive in Texas than in most of the country.

Video: A Conversation With Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

Feb 11, 2018
The Texas Tribune

Watch video of Friday evening's conversation with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune.

Campolo and Powell courtesy candidates/Burton: Bob Daemmrich

Two years ago, Beverly Powell and Allison Campolo found themselves on opposite sides of a question dividing Democrats across the country: What kind of Democrat do you want?

From Texas Standard:

On March 6, Texas will hold the first primary contests in the nation this year. If patterns emerge in the statewide results, the primaries could set the tone for contests in the rest of the country.

When it comes to congressional races, a number of retirements among Texas Republicans has resulted in packed fields of candidates vying to replace them. And campaign committees from both national parties have been hesitant to endorse candidates.

Shutterstock

Former President George W. Bush said on Thursday that "there's pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled" in the 2016 American presidential election, forcefully rebutting fellow Republican Donald Trump's denials of Moscow trying to affect the vote.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET

Senate leaders reached a bipartisan budget agreement to increase military and domestic spending levels for two years, paving the way for the first long-term spending pact since President Trump took office.

The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan quickly declared support for the pact, helping pave the way for its passage by the end of the week, despite opposition from fiscal hawks and liberal Democrats.

In a tweet, President Trump claimed the largest audience ever tuned in for his State of the Union address. That's not true.

Updated on Jan. 31 at 12:47 a.m. ET

President Trump sought to strike a unifying tone with his first State of the Union address, but some of his rhetoric on immigration and his promise to put "America First" was clearly aimed at his base.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Trump delivered his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday evening, followed by the official Democratic response, by Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Journalists across the NPR newsroom annotated those remarks, adding fact-checks and analysis in real time. 

Jump to Democratic response

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

“If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself.”

That’s what Barack Obama told his forlorn supporters in his farewell address last year as he prepared to leave office. One group that seems to have taken that message to heart are the people who worked in his administration.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The State Republican Executive Committee voted to censure Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, on Saturday, dinging the outgoing state leader for standing in the way of the party leadership group's priorities.

Updated at 8:22 p.m. ET

Real estate and casino magnate Steve Wynn relinquished his duties as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee on Saturday after The Wall Street Journal reported an alleged pattern of sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving employees of Wynn Resorts.

Shutterstock

In just three and a half weeks, Texans will begin voting in the nation's first political primary of the year.

And the stakes will depend on what happens next. Just this week, we came out of a federal government shutdown. Now, there's a lawsuit in Dallas County to remove more than 120 Democratic candidates from the state's primary ballot.

Andrew Cline / Shutterstock

A lawsuit that seeks to remove 128 Dallas County Democrats from the March primary ballot is “completely baseless,” the county party says.

More than 40 Texans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are running for public office this year. Advocates say this is an “unprecedented” number of candidates who are openly LGBT – and that this isn’t just backlash to Donald Trump's election.

Mary Wilson, who is gay, is among those candidates running for the first time.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

Texans will go to the polls to elect hundreds of officials to represent them this year. Up for grabs are the governor’s mansion, a seat in the U.S. Senate and some of the most powerful statewide offices.

Lang: Twitter/Largent: Granbury ISD

Nearly a year ago, a dozen right-wing lawmakers in the Texas House dubbed themselves the Texas House Freedom Caucus, railing against the chamber's more moderate leadership and highlighting divides within the state GOP.  

Shutterstock

Dallas County Republicans have filed a lawsuit to remove 128 Democratic candidates from the March 6 primary ballot. 

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

As President Trump approaches the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, a majority of Americans think that his first year in office has been a failure and that he has divided the nation.

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll data released Thursday finds that Americans deemed Trump's first year a failure, 53 percent to 40 percent. And by an almost 2-to-1 ratio (61 percent to 32 percent), Americans said they believe Trump has divided the country since his election.

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