Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen announced Monday that he has support from 109 members to become the next speaker of the Texas House. That number, if it holds, is more than enough votes for him to win the gavel.

screen grab from NBC

Lt. Com. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas congressman-elect who was the target of a badly received joke on Saturday Night Live last week, got a payback opportunity this week, appearing on the show to take some pokes at SNL cast member Pete Davidson.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

In the run-up to Election Day, an influential Tea Party group seemed skeptical that a blue wave would wash over the state. But after the votes were tallied, the NE Tarrant Tea Party found that some of its favored candidates had nearly been swept away.

Brandon Formby / The Texas Tribune

At the end of the 2011 legislative session, state Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Dallas Democrat, sat down to dinner with a Republican colleague from the Texas House. Anchia was exhausted and incensed.

NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN via The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott and every other statewide Republican seeking re-election emerged victorious on Tuesday. Still, the election proved to be the closest statewide contest in two decades as many of the incumbents won by notably slim margins.

Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

By the end of Election Day, the political maps of the state’s suburban and swing counties had a peculiar blue tint.

From Texas Standard:

One hundred and ninety-six years of experience is the amount of time nine outgoing members of Congress from Texas have compiled in the U.S. House of Representatives. The turnover comes thanks to six retirements, two upsets and one failed Senate bid. According to Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute, that’s an unusually high amount of institutional knowledge going out the door.

Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., offered an olive branch to President Trump and congressional Republicans, just hours after Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives.

The congressional leader said that the new Democratic House majority will seek bipartisanship with Republicans, a comment that echoed what Trump himself had conveyed in his own postelection press conference.

Updated 3:10 p.m. ET

In an extraordinarily combative news conference Wednesday after voters delivered him a rebuke by giving control of the House to Democrats, President Trump went after Republicans, Democrats and the media.

He mocked Republican candidates who distanced themselves from him, chided a reporter for asking a "racist question" and walked away from the lectern at one point, as an aide tried to wrest a microphone out of a reporter's hands.

Shutterstock

Updated, 12:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump held a press conference on the midterm elections Wednesday morning after the Democratic wave in the House and Republican gains in the Senate.

As NPR reports, the president lashed out in what turned out to be an "extraordinarily combative" event. 

Andy Jacobsohn / AP

Democrats are now in control of the House of Representatives — and North Texas Democrat Colin Allred will be joining them to form the new majority.

Anthony Cave / KERA News

Updated, 7:29 a.m.

Democrat Colin Allred has won the U.S. House District 32 seat, defeating Republican incumbent Pete Sessions in the most competitive congressional race in North Texas. 

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

John Creuzot will be the next district attorney of Dallas County. Creuzot, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Faith Johnson, who'd been appointed to the job. The margin of victory was a resounding 20 percentage points.

Raymond Thompson: Escobar/Bob Daemmrich: Garcia

EL PASO — A pair of veteran Democratic Texas lawmakers made congressional history Tuesday night as the first-ever Latinas elected to represent Texas in the U.S. House.

NPR

NPR reporters will be updating this live blog with results and analysis through Tuesday night.

For more analysis, stream PBS NewsHour coverage in the video embed below, starting at 5 p.m. 

Get caught up on the latest news below. For coverage in Dallas-Fort Worth, bookmark this blog.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has won re-election in Texas, fending off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

"Texas came together behind a common-sense agenda of low taxes, low regulation and lots and lots of jobs," Cruz told supporters at an election night watch party in Houston. "[It was about] securing the border and keeping our communities safe, defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."

PHOTOS | Scenes From The Cruz And O'Rourke Election Night Watch Parties

Julian Aguilar / Texas Tribune

EL PASO — The press release went out Monday, the reporters showed up Tuesday morning, then the U.S. Border Patrol abruptly canceled its Election Day "crowd control exercise" without immediately stating a reason.

It's Election Day — and before you head to the polls (if you haven't already during early voting), make sure you know your rights as a voter.

Well it's finally here. Election Day 2018.

After what seemed like the longest and most anxiety-ridden midterm campaign in memory, today we are ready to choose the House and one-third of the Senate for the 116th Congress, not to mention the great majority of our governors and state legislators.

More than ready, apparently. Early voting has exploded this year in several states. Maybe every midterm electorate feels itself to be really special, but the 2018 iteration has the distinction of looking very, very large.

From Texas Standard:

From KTZZ and KUT:

Tuesday is midterm Election Day. Of course you’ve heard about the heated Texas Senate race, and some of the state’s more competitive congressional districts, the governor’s race. But there are also several statewide races on the ballot this year that aren’t getting much attention – like railroad commissioner. Current commission chairman, Republican Christi Craddick, is running for a second term against Democrat Roman McAllen and Libertarian Mike Wright.

KERA is teaming up with newsrooms across the country to track voting problems through ProPublica's Electionland project.

Ana Flores can vote for the first time this year. The 18-year-old lives in Houston with her mom. Like many young people who just got the right to vote, she was curious about what it would be like.

“I just wanted to try it out," she said, "see how it would feel for the first time.”

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT News

More than 4.8 million Texans cast their ballot in person or by mail during the early voting period.

At the end of early voting on Friday, turnout in the state's largest counties surpassed the entire turnout of the 2014 midterm election. But that doesn't mean you don't need to vote — Election Day is Tuesday.

Sessions: J. Scott Applewhite, AP; Allred: Chris Connelly, KERA News

In North Texas’ most heated congressional race, health care has become the dominant issue. Longtime Republican Rep. Pete Sessions is facing his toughest political challenge in years from Democrat and civil rights lawyer Colin Allred for his North Dallas seat. And the two candidates and their supporters are spending millions of dollars on ads to paint the other guy as a bad choice.

So where do the two stand?

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a White House broadside against illegal immigration Thursday, underscoring what has become his central focus in the final days of the midterm election campaign.

From Texas Standard:

This political season in Texas, yard signs have been at the center of stories that sound straight out of The Onion. There’s the couple who turned their front lawn into a giant, hand-painted Beto O’Rourke sign. Or the anti-Brett Kavanaugh sign in Hamilton that police threatened to confiscate after Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller posted about it on Facebook. Our Texas Decides series continues with a listener question you might call a sign of the times.

Campaign websites

Republican Deanna Metzger is something of a rarity this election cycle.

Democrats appear confident they'll take back the House majority next Tuesday — a fact top Republican strategists all but concede privately less than a week before Election Day.

"Up until today I would have said if the election was held today we would win. Now I'm saying we will win," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday night on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Months before he was arrested on allegations of mailing bombs to several prominent Democrats, Cesar Sayoc sent threatening messages over Facebook to U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, a spokesman for O'Rourke's U.S. Senate campaign confirmed Wednesday.

Updated at 8:28 p.m. ET

President Trump is back in campaign mode and immigration is a key talking point for him, even as his recent comments have exposed divisions within the Republican Party.

After a brief pause to pay respects to victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Trump hosted a political rally in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday. It's one of 11 campaign rallies the president will hold in the next six days, in a furious final sprint to next week's midterm elections.

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