Politics | KERA News


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

Erik Hersman / Flickr

On a rainy Tuesday night, voters from across North Texas filed into the Irving Arts Center to hear from candidates in the race for Texas' 24th Congressional District.

Poll: Democratic Senate Candidates Still Mostly Unknown In The Race To Take On John Cornyn

17 hours ago
Texas Democrats running for U.S. Senate on the debate stage
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

With just one week to go before Super Tuesday, more than half of voters still don’t know enough to form an opinion on any of the Democratic candidates hoping to take on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in November, according to a new poll.

Allison Campolo
Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Democrats see more opportunity in Tarrant County than any other to flip seats in the state capitol in Austin. They need to pick up nine seats to win control of the state House for the first time in 20 years, and are targeting five seats in Tarrant, the state’s third-largest county. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is endorsing Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez in the huge primary to take on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, less than two weeks before Election Day.

Updated at 8:57 a.m. ET

Afghan forces, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and the Taliban militia will begin a seven-day "reduction in violence" across the country beginning Saturday midnight local time (2:30 p.m. ET Friday) — a possible prelude to a broader peace deal following two decades of war, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

The quasi cease-fire was hammered out during protracted negotiations in Qatar that began in 2018. It could ultimately lead to a significant reduction of the approximately 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Candidates at debate
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas Democrats took to a crowded Austin debate stage Tuesday night as they vie for the nomination to take on Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the three-term incumbent.

The Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate generally agreed in pushing the policies of President Barack Obama's administration further to the left. The contentions centered mostly around how far left each person was willing to go.

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.”

Vote sign
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Eleven of the 12 Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Texas debated Tuesday – the first day of early voting in the March 3 primary. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

They came from around Texas – dozens of college and high school age Latinos. Their message to political candidates: Listen to us, our vote matters.

Clayton Williams with George H.W. Bush and Phil Gramm
Pat Sullivan / Associated Press

Clayton Williams, a colorful Texas oilman and philanthropist whose 1990 run for governor was derailed after joking about rape and acknowledging he went a year without paying income taxes, has died. He was 88.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Pete Buttigieg is quickly ramping up campaign activity in Texas after strong finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, sending two dozen staffers to the Super Tuesday state.

F-35 fighter plane
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune

The Department of Defense's plan to divert $3.83 billion in military spending to border wall construction, announced Thursday, drew predictable condemnation from Texas Democrats. For Republicans in U.S. House districts affected by the reallocation, responses were more nuanced.

Bloomberg Makes Pitch To Black Voters In Houston

Feb 14, 2020
Andrew Schneider / Houston Public Media

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Houston Thursday to roll out his outreach plan for the African American community, addressing head on his controversial record on law enforcement.

Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET

The U.S. House has voted to remove the deadline on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in an attempt to revive the amendment. The 232-183 vote fell largely along party lines with five Republicans supporting the measure and zero Democrats opposing it.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

Jared Kushner has been quietly trying to resurrect discussions to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, multiple people familiar with the conversations have told NPR.

President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law has been meeting with business leaders, immigration hard-liners and other interest groups important to Republicans with the goal of rolling out a new immigration plan once Trump's impeachment trial ended.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

It took a year of campaigning, countless stump speeches and an especially strong night on the debate stage for little-known Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar to break into the top tier of the 2020 campaign in New Hampshire.

US Presidential Candidates Sought The Latino Vote Long Before 2020

Feb 10, 2020
JFK, LBJ, Lady Bird Johnson and Jackie Kennedy with League of Latin American Citizens
Ted Rozumaiski / Houston Chronicle via Associated Press

In his 1960 bid for the White House, John F. Kennedy’s campaign wooed a voting bloc that was mostly forgotten by other political campaigns: Latinos. 

Jackie Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s wife, took to the airwaves with her own Spanish-language ad urging people to vote. She ended the ad with “Viva Kennedy!'' — a slogan that became a unifying phrase for a group of Mexican American political organizers in Texas. 

Nasser Nasser / Associated Press

Tensions have recently flared between the U.S. and Iran after a series of events, including the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iranian attacks on U.S. allies and the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Pete Buttigieg
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The Democratic Party’s seven strongest presidential contenders are preparing for what could be the fiercest debate of the 2020 primary season as the race barrels ahead toward a series of contests that will help determine the course of the nomination fight.

President Trump
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Donald Trump is only the third president in American history to be impeached. Dallas-based historian Jeffrey A. Engel sat down with Think’s Krys Boyd to discuss how Trump’s impeachment and acquittal might influence American history and the future of the presidency.

A polling location in San Antonio, Texas
Associated Press

A projected 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in this year’s U.S. presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center.

This means that Latinos, for the first time, will make up the largest racial and ethnic minority voting bloc.

Veronice Escobar
PBS NewsHour

According to Rep. Veronica Escobar, the greatest danger facing Americans is not foreign, economic or even climate related. It is the president himself and his Republican supporters in Congress.

Here's How Texas Democrats Dole Out Their 261 Delegates In The Presidential Primary

Feb 4, 2020
Texas Democratic Convention at the Alamodome
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / For The Texas Tribune

The race for the Democratic nomination for president officially got its start Monday night with the Iowa caucuses. New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada will soon follow. But Texas looms large over the next month. Its primary is on March 3 and it will award more delegates to Democratic presidential candidates than all of the primaries before Super Tuesday — combined.

President Trump
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Senators voted on Wednesday afternoon to acquit President Trump on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — after an historically unusual but typically contentious trial.

Stepping Into GOP Primaries, Dennis Bonnen Donates To Seven Texas House Incumbents

Feb 3, 2020
Dennis Bonnen
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Retiring House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has started doling out campaign funds to fellow Republican members who face challenges in the upcoming March primary elections, clearing up a financial uncertainty that has been on political minds at the Texas Legislature for months.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas
Associated Press

The chosen seven strode across the U.S. Capitol rotunda before the eyes of history and a live television audience. It was late in the afternoon on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On their way to the Senate to formally deliver impeachment charges against Donald Trump, six of the impeachment managers appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked in pairs. The seventh followed by herself.

Vote Here Sign

Lorraine Birabil defeated James Armstrong III in Tuesday's special runoff election for Texas House District 100. Birabil won with about 66% of the vote. 

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.

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