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.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Abbott/Bob Daemmrich: Farenthold

Gov. Greg Abbott is demanding that former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold "cover all costs" of the special election to fill his seat using the $84,000 the Corpus Christi Republican used to settle a sexual harassment claim years ago.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Gov. Greg Abbott has called a June 30 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott got the go-ahead Monday from Attorney General Ken Paxton to suspend state law so the governor can call a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, as soon as possible.

Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott wants to hold a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, as soon as possible.

Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

KINGWOOD — Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday vowed to challenge Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez over her views on border security and immigration, emphasizing an early contrast with the former Dallas County sheriff who has not yet secured her party's nomination. 

Laura Skelding: O'Rourke/Douglas Young: Cruz

When U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced his latest fundraising haul earlier this month – a stunning $6.7 million – it was widely expected to surpass what his rival, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, brought in over the same period. Now it's clear by how much: roughly $3.5 million.

Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters

As Republicans fight to preserve their majority in Congress' lower chamber, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan swung through Texas last week for a retreat with about 100 GOP donors, a series of fundraisers and to promote legislation like last year's sweeping tax overhaul

Robert Hart for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, raised over $6.7 million for his U.S. Senate bid in the first quarter of 2018, according to his campaign, a staggering number that poses a new category of threat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

STAFFORD — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, formally began his re-election campaign Monday, hitting the road extolling Lone Star State exceptionalism — especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Robin Jerstad: Cruz

For much of the past year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz did not acknowledge Beto O'Rourke’s name — or even, for a while, the fact that he had a Democratic opponent for re-election.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday unveiled a plan to "rein in skyrocketing property taxes" in Texas, looking to lay down a marker in a debate that dominated the legislative sessions last year and promises to remain front and center through the 2018 primaries and beyond.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

Attorney General Ken Paxton has clarified that licensed handgun owners can bring their weapons to church as long as the church does not say otherwise — a question raised after the deadly church shooting last month in Sutherland Springs. 

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

The state's highest criminal court agreed Wednesday to take a closer look at prosecutors' long-running fight to get paid for their handling of the securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

HOUSTON — Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is making it official Thursday morning: He is running for governor, joining the crowded Democratic primary with four days to go before the filing deadline.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez announced Wednesday morning that she is running for governor, giving Texas Democrats a serious candidate for the top job with five days until the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 primaries.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Democratic Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez says she's still considering a run for governor, but that reports that she has resigned are false. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, is retiring from the Texas House after 13 terms. 

Nelson campaign/Laura Buckman: Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is getting his first Democratic opponent for re-election.

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has emerged as a potential Democratic challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018.

Courtesy of Andrew White Campaign

Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is mulling a run for governor as a Democrat in 2018. 

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

DALLAS — As the Texas GOP gears up for a potentially bruising primary season, some of its leaders came to a conference here this weekend with a message of caution: Let’s not go overboard in 2018.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

In the wake of the "bathroom bill" fight that generated strong business backlash, House Speaker Joe Straus is putting together a committee to make sure Texas can continue to chase new companies. 

Laura Skelding: O'Rourke/Douglas Young: Cruz / The Texas Tribune

After getting outraised by his Democratic opponent earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appears to have regained fundraising momentum from U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

SAN ANTONIO — Greg Abbott may not have a serious opponent for re-election yet, but he is already running against one group in particular: those who say Texas’ Republican governor can’t make further inroads with the Hispanic community in the era of Texas' "sanctuary cities" ban and Donald Trump.

The Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he is nominating two Texans to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Dallas attorney James Ho. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is making major changes in his office after his first two regular sessions — and a special session — bringing in several new senior staffers with deep legislative experience, according to aides.

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