Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune | KERA News

Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune

Cassandra Pollock is an engagement reporter for The Texas Tribune, which she joined in June 2017 after a stint as a fellow during the 85th Texas Legislature. She graduated in 2017 from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism. Cassi has previously reported for The Daily Texan, the university’s official student newspaper, and The Washington Examiner in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Greg Abbott briefs reporters during a press conference on a Domestic Terrorism Task Force roundtable held at the capitol on Jan. 7, 2020.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is warning Texans to be “particularly vigilant” over potential cyberterrorism from Iran, suggesting that heightened tensions with the country have caused an increase in attempted attacks on state agencies.

State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, speaks at a Texans for Vaccine Choice event at the state Capitol in Austin on May 3, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, has made a late decision to not seek reelection after filing to run for another term in the Texas House.

Zedler's office confirmed the news to The Texas Tribune on Tuesday afternoon. Zedler plans to withdraw from the race later Tuesday, which he must do to ensure his name does not appear on the 2020 ballot.

State Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land, speaks on the House floor on May 4, 2017.
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

As far as falls from grace in Texas politics go, state Rep. Rick Miller’s was about as fast as they come.

On Monday night, the Sugar Land Republican was quoted in a story published by The Houston Chronicle saying his two primary challengers likely joined the race because they are Asian in a district with a considerable Asian population.

Gov. Greg Abbott talks with state Reps. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredricksburg, left, and Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, on the House floor in Austin on March 27, 2019.
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, an Eagle Pass Democrat and House chairman, turned himself in to authorities to be booked on felony drug possession charges Thursday evening and was released after posting his bond of $10,000, according to both the lawmaker and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, on the House floor on May 1, 2019.
Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune

About two months before state Rep. Poncho Nevárez announced he was retiring from the Texas House, the Eagle Pass Democrat was caught on surveillance footage dropping an envelope stuffed with cocaine as he was leaving the Austin airport, according to an affidavit filed by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen will not be criminally prosecuted for the things he said during a secretly recorded June meeting with a hardline conservative activist, the district attorney in his hometown announced Thursday.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

First-term Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on Tuesday announced he will not seek reelection to the lower chamber in 2020 — completing a stunning fall for the Angleton Republican who enjoyed near unanimous support in the House just months earlier.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

A small but growing bipartisan group of Texas House members have called for Speaker Dennis Bonnen to resign after a secret recording of the GOP leader meeting with a conservative activist was released this week.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

During a June conversation at the Texas Capitol, Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen urged hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan to target members of their own party in the 2020 primaries and suggested he could get Sullivan’s group media access to the House floor, according to a secret recording of the conversation released Tuesday.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

State Sen. José Rodríguez, an El Paso Democrat, announced Friday that he will not seek reelection to the upper chamber in 2020.

Rodriguez informed El Paso colleagues of his decision in a text late Thursday night that was obtained by The Texas Tribune. He made the announcement official at his district office.

Jesus Rosales / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued eight executive orders in response to the El Paso and Odessa-Midland mass shootings that happened just weeks apart, his office announced Thursday.

Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio

Democrats in the Texas House are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special legislative session to address gun violence — a move designed to place even more pressure on the state’s top GOP official to act in the wake of two deadly mass shootings just weeks apart.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Whatever members of the Texas House think of the recent headlines involving Speaker Dennis Bonnen, the drama curdling the lower chamber has raised the stakes for Republicans and Democrats ahead of an already crucial election cycle — and it could undermine a recent warning the speaker issued about incumbents campaigning against colleagues in 2020.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dustin Burrows of Lubbock has resigned as chair of the Texas House GOP Caucus, according to two people familiar with the matter. Burrows’ departure comes amid allegations that he, along with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, planned to politically target members from their own party in the 2020 primaries — and it marks the largest fallout yet since the accusations surfaced.

Associated Press

Allen West, a former congressman from Florida, announced Thursday he is running for Texas GOP chair, challenging current party leader James Dickey for the position.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas House General Investigating Committee voted Monday to request that the Texas Rangers look into allegations against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and one of his top lieutenants in the lower chamber.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

Texas Democrats are suing over a June 12 meeting House Speaker Dennis Bonnen had in June with one of his top lieutenants and Michael Quinn Sullivan, a hardline conservative activist, saying the three were engaged in serious campaign finance violations and demanding that Sullivan produce a full recording of the gathering that he has shared with only a small group of Republicans.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen, who chaired the tax-writing Ways & Means Committee in 2017, has tapped state Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, to fill his shoes.
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has apologized to members for taking a meeting with hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan that has since thrown the lower chamber into chaos.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Two members of the Texas House who listened Wednesday night to a recording of a meeting that has shaken up the Legislature refuted House Speaker Dennis Bonnen's denials that he offered a list of 10 GOP representatives for a hardline conservative group to politically target.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

Republican Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has launched a political action committee to help defend the GOP majority as Democrats push to take the lower chamber in 2020.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. John Wray, a Waxahachie Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election to the Texas House in 2020.

Associated Press

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, a firebrand conservative Republican from Bedford and one of the most vocal members of the Texas House, announced Monday he will not run for reelection in 2020.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen, who chaired the tax-writing Ways & Means Committee in 2017, has tapped state Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, to fill his shoes.
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

 

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond will again head the budget-planning Appropriations Committee, the House announced Wednesday. State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, will retain his post as chairman of the House Administration Committee.

The Texas State Capitol on the first day of the 86th legislative session.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

A gray fog descended on Austin Tuesday morning, but the scene inside the Texas Capitol was all colorful and festive to mark the first day of the 86th biennial legislative session.

And perhaps the loudest celebration took place in the Texas House, where lawmakers whooped and hollered after the unanimous election of state Rep. Dennis Bonnen as House speaker.

Left to right: Outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus, presumptive House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a Legislative Budget Board meeting in Austin on Nov. 16, 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

This time two years ago, the stage was already set for a political rumble.

Months before the 85th legislative session even began in January 2017, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had started laying out a hefty list of priorities, perhaps most notably the “bathroom bill,” a measure that would have restricted the use of certain public facilities for transgender Texans.

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