Tea Party | KERA News

Tea Party

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Britain will vote on Thursday whether to stay or leave the European Union. The fallout from that vote could have major implications elsewhere. UT Dallas professor Harold Clarke studies British politics and economics, and he explains what a ‘Brexit’ vote would mean for Texas.

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As Texans start heading to the polls for early voting Tuesday, they’ll get to name their choice for their party’s presidential nominee. Some of them will also be choosing sides in fierce battles over seats in the state legislature, races where millions of dollars are being spent to convince Republicans in North Texas how to vote.

In North Texas, Julie McCarty And Tea Party Flourish

Sep 28, 2015
Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

GRAPEVINE — When the Tea Party movement swept the country in 2009, Julie McCarty was a 38-year-old mom staying home to care for her two-year-old daughter. Her involvement in politics was “next to nothing," she says. “I voted, and I knew that Obama was going to be trouble for America."

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Texans surveyed in a UT/Texas Tribune poll out this week agree discrimination’s a problem. But they disagree on who’s the target of it. People of color made the list, but James Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at University of Texas at Austin, said some of the respondents believe whites are victims of discrimination.

The headline in the Dallas Morning News summed it up nicely: "Tea For Texas."

While the political news around the country has generally been how the Republican establishment has triumphantly held off Tea Party challengers, in Texas Tuesday it was the opposite.

David Dewhurst is a prime example of what happened. For more than a decade, all Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has done is faithfully serve the legislative agenda of one of the most conservative Republican governors in the country, Rick Perry.

LM Otero / Associated Press

Nationally, many tea party-backed candidates have been losing primary elections. But in Texas, tea party candidates are doing well – and they continued their winning streak during Tuesday’s runoff elections.

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The Tea Party had its share of success in Tuesday’s primary runoffs, and more may lie ahead. KERA's Sam Baker looks ahead to the fall elections with Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

Mark Graham / Texas Tribune

The entire state will be watching Tuesday night as Republicans in Tarrant County decide which runoff candidate will continue and compete in the fall for Wendy Davis’ state senate seat.

The Senate District 10 runoff pits tea party candidate Konni Burton against former state representative Mark Shelton.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Nationally, many Tea Party-backed candidates have been losing primary elections. But in Texas, Tea Party candidates are doing well. One big Tea Party organization has joined with other conservative groups. Their goal: becoming the dominant voice in Texas Republican politics. They recently urged North Texas voters to “retire” more sitting Republicans during the May 27 runoff election.      

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.

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. 

Being an incumbent ain't what it used to be.

Texan John Cornyn is the No. 2 man in Senate GOP leadership and by most measures holds high conservative ratings — according to National Journal's rankings, he was the second most conservative senator in the last Congress.

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Sen. John Cornyn on Wednesday expressed confidence he’ll be the Republican Party’s nominee despite a last-minute challenge by Congressman Steve Stockman. 

Tea party activists have been gunning for Sen. John Cornyn. But even they were surprised when Steve Stockman, a Republican Congressman from the Houston suburb of Friendswood, filed on the last possible day to run against Cornyn in the March Republican primary. 

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Despite tea party leaders wanting a strong candidate to challenge Texas Sen. John Cornyn, he doesn’t have a serious primary opponent.

Politico reports today that Cornyn probably doesn’t have much to worry about in 2014. Still, his campaign has launched its first television ads.

“I would like to think it’s because I’ve done a good job and people believe my record fits what you’d expect of a Texas senator,” Cornyn told Politico. “That’s why we’re doing a little bit of advertising now, to remind people what that record is.”

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Texas Senator John Cornyn is in trouble with the tea party.

At the Texas Tribune policy conference last weekend, six tea party leaders were asked if they wanted a strong candidate to challenge Cornyn in the Republican primary. 

Five of them said "yes."

"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.”

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.

National tea party organizers say tomorrow’s U.S. Senate race between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst is an important test. It will tell them whether the efforts of tea party activists can defeat established Republican candidates in a big, red state like Texas.

Cruz Banks On Tea Party Support

May 8, 2012

The national Tea Party Express held rallies in Texas the past three days drumming up support for a variety of Republican candidates. The Texas primary is May 29. The national Tea Party Express has endorsed Texas GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Ted Cruz. 

State Attorney General Gregg Abbott will have a seat in the US Supreme Court again today as Texas and 25 other states continue their three-day challenge of the federal healthcare law.

Dallas, TX –

What was expected to be a routine vote on a state proposition to extend a low-interest student loan program may have run into a political buzz-saw called the Texas Tea Party. Texas Public Radio's David Martin Davies has more.