Patrick Svitek / The Texas Tribune | KERA News

Patrick Svitek / The Texas Tribune

Patrick Svitek is a reporter for the Texas Tribune. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Not only has the coronavirus pandemic upended how candidates campaign for the foreseeable future, it has also caused the May runoff election to be pushed back seven weeks.
Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Democrats and Republicans across Texas are settling in for the new normal that is campaigning in the time of the novel coronavirus.

Not only has the pandemic upended how candidates campaign for the foreseeable future, it has also caused the May runoff election to be pushed back seven weeks, adding more uncertainty to a high-stakes election cycle in Texas.

Eddie Gaspar / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday took sweeping action to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus across Texas, issuing an executive order that will close restaurants and schools, among other things.

Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez has endorsed Royce West over MJ Hegar in the Democratic primary runoff to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, just under a week after Tzintzún Ramirez finished a close third in the crowded primary.

MJ Hegar and Royce West
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson and Eddie Gaspar / For The Texas Tribune

For months, the 12 Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate mostly played nice at forum after forum, reciting their elevator pitches and reiterating their issue positions. A few episodes fueled sharp disagreements, but none that permanently derailed an otherwise cordial primary.

Now the race is down to two people, and the contrast between them is quickly coming into focus.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

Bernie Sanders wasted little time Friday night at a Dallas-area rally getting to what he said would be a “dramatic announcement.”

Axel Gerdau / The Texas Tribune

There are political outsiders, and then there are outsiders — literally.

Across Texas’ most competitive congressional primaries, leading candidates are weathering scrutiny of their ties to the districts they are running for, fueling a dominant theme ahead of the March 3 primary. The dynamic is playing out across the state, mostly in GOP primaries and particularly in more rural districts, where there is a premium on local connections.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has spent the past seven months unveiling endorsements for Texas House Republicans and other GOP candidates for the lower chamber — and now he is about to hit the road for them.

Eliz Markowitz speaks to supporters at her election night watch party on Tuesday.
Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

State and national Democrats are regrouping after a tough loss Tuesday in a special election runoff for a Texas House seat that they had targeted in their drive to flip the chamber in November.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
Allison Shelley / The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has $12.1 million in the bank for his reelection bid after collecting $2.75 million over the last three months, according to his campaign.

Bernie Sanders s
Cooper Neill / The Texas Tribune

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is significantly increasing his focus on Texas with a little over a month until the state's primary.

On Tuesday, his campaign unveiled plans for a $2.5 million TV ad buy across Texas and California — another delegate-rich Super Tuesday state — and told The Texas Tribune that it has staffed up here with five regional field directors.

Gary Gates
Annie Mulligan / The Texas Tribune

Republican Gary Gates decisively beat Democrat Eliz Markowitz in the nationally targeted special election runoff for Texas House District 28, marking a disappointing loss for Democrats who had hoped to use the race to build momentum toward capturing control of the lower chamber in November.

Texas House District 28 candidates
Social Media

Republican Gary Gates has opened a big lead in early voting returns in the nationally targeted special election runoff for Texas House District 28, according to unofficial results.

Gates got 59% of the early vote to 41% for Democrat Eliz Markowitz in the suburban Houston district.

Left: Democratic candidate for House District 28 Eliz Markowitz speaks to supporters at a block walk in Fulshear on Jan. 25. Right: Republican candidate for House District 28 Gary Gates speaks to supporters in Katy on Jan. 25.
Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

It is hard not to argue Democrats have gone all in on the special election runoff for House District 28.

Ahead of the Tuesday election, at least three presidential candidates have come to the aid of Democratic candidate Eliz Markowitz. State and national groups have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into her race against self-funding Republican Gary Gates

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Republican primary challenger Chris Putnam.
United States Congress and Putnam Campaign / The Texas Tribune

A little over a month ago, President Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, for reelection, giving her the best possible vote of confidence she could ask for as she faces a primary challenger questioning her pro-Trump credentials.

The race is far from over, however.

Texas Capitol
Austin Price / The Texas Tribune

The fight for the Texas House came into focus Thursday with the release of the first major wave of campaign finance reports since the battlefield was set.

Will Hurd
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

At a forum here in San Antonio late November for the Republicans running to replace U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, an audience member made a pointed request, asking the candidates to list three things they do not like about the retiring congressman.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a community event in San Antonio on Dec. 13, 2019.
Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

Several former prominent supporters of Julián Castro in his home state are endorsing Joe Biden for president now that the Texan is no longer running — and a day after he threw his support to Biden rival Elizabeth Warren.

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco on Dec. 11.
Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is ramping up his efforts in Texas, with plans to build a state operation that his campaign says will be unrivaled by anyone else in the primary field.

Beto O'Rourke
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Weeks after dropping out of the presidential race, Beto O'Rourke has launched a new political group to boost Texas Democrats in the 2020 election.

In an email to supporters Friday morning, O'Rourke said the group, Powered by People, will bring "together volunteers from around the state to work on the most important races in Texas." 

Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday his biggest political focus next year in Texas will be flipping the state House, offering the most detail yet on his 2020 plans since ending his presidential campaign last month.
Associated Press

Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday his biggest political focus next year in Texas will be flipping the state House, offering the most detail yet on his 2020 plans since ending his presidential campaign last month.

Former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the National Education association presidential forum in Houston on Friday, July 5, 2019.
Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is unveiling a new round of Texas endorsements as he heads to San Antonio on Friday for his latest campaign swing through the Super Tuesday state.

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.

Ronny Jackson is at least the 13th Republican to jump in to the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon.
Associated Press

Ronny Jackson, the former White House doctor and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee to be secretary of veterans affairs, is running to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon.

Pierce Bush
Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star

The grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush, nonprofit executive Pierce Bush, announced Monday morning that he is running for Texas' 22nd Congressional District.

State Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugarland, speaks with colleagues on the House floor during the House School Finance plan deliberations on April 3, 2019.
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded his endorsement of state Rep. Rick Miller on Tuesday after the Sugar Land Republican said he was facing primary challengers because they are “Asian.”

Elizabeth Warren
Eddie Gaspar

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is expanding her staff in Texas, giving her easily the biggest organization devoted to the state of any primary campaign.

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Retiring U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, is spearheading a new group to elect a more diverse slate of Republicans across the country, the latest sign that he plans to remain politically involved as he leaves office.

Announced Thursday, the Hurd-backed Future Leaders Fund intends to spend millions next year — notably in primaries — to boost more Republicans who are young, female and people of color.

Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is ramping up his campaign in Texas, naming a state director while adding another endorsement from a state senator.

The former vice president’s Texas state director will be Dallas-based Democratic strategist Jane Hamilton, the Biden campaign told The Texas Tribune. At the same time, the campaign announced it has received the endorsement of state Sen. Beverly Powell of Burleson.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Sergio Flores / For The Texas Tribune

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is heading to a runoff against high-profile attorney Tony Buzbee in his rowdy re-election race.

Associated Press

And then there was one. 

Julián Castro became the sole Texan in the presidential race after Beto O’Rourke ended his campaign Friday, a sudden departure that creates new opportunity for Castro. But the former U.S. housing secretary is facing an uncertain fate of his own and trying to forge forward despite the long odds, sharpening his pitch as a unique advocate for the voiceless in the still-crowded primary field.

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