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Politics

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

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / Texas Tribune

EL PASO – Beto O'Rourke, coming off a closer-than-expected race against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is no longer ruling out a 2020 presidential run.

Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals Rules Against Prosecutors In Ken Paxton Payment Case

Nov 21, 2018
Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday potentially imperiled the long-delayed criminal prosecution of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, ruling that payments to special prosecutors were outside legal limits.

Several Texas news outlets are reporting about how volunteers are helping those experiencing food insecurity this Thanksgiving. But how much attention is focused on those who grow and harvest the food, or those who rely on food stamps? Both issues are part of the massive federal farm bill that's set to expire soon, and with Congress away for Thanksgiving, certain crop subsidies, federal nutrition assistance programs and more are in limbo.

From Texas Standard:

The New York Times recently reported that the Trump administration plans to "redefine transgender out of existence." 

The story references a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services memo that was leaked last month that proposed to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX. That's the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally-funded educational programs.

The draft proposal would define a person's "sex" as the one assigned at birth. On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international observation honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, Texas Standard looks at the impact the proposed legal change could have on transgender students.

The Texas Freedom Caucus in 2017 (clockwise from back): State Reps. Jonathan Stickland, Briscoe Cain, Matt Krause, Valoree Swanson, Mike Lang, Kyle Biedermann, Matt Rinaldi, Tony Tinderholt, Jeff Leach, Bill Zedler, Matt Schaefer, Matt Shaheen
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Despite prior differences, ten of the 11 returning members of the Freedom Caucus in the Texas House have publicly backed Angleton Republican Dennis Bonnen as speaker.

Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones conceded Monday in her challenge to U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, ensuring a third term for Hurd in his perennial battleground district.

Election after election, pundits predict that Latinos will be a powerful voting bloc. And Latino voters consistently underperform those expectations by failing to turn out at the polls in big numbers.

But this year's midterm results in Nevada, Arizona and other states suggest that Latino turnout is up dramatically — a development that could reshape the electoral landscape for 2020 and beyond.

Despite frenetically campaigning, rallying and tweeting support for Republican candidates in the lead-up to the midterms, President Trump didn't take any responsibility for the GOP's losses in those elections in an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace that aired Sunday.

"I have people that won't vote unless I'm on the ballot, OK?" Trump said, later noting, "My name wasn't on the ballot."

The holiday dinner conversations are going to be intense in several high-profile Democratic households in the coming weeks, as potential candidates near decisions on whether to run for president in 2020.

Even as their staffs and political advisers have already begun scouting out office space, interviewing potential aides, and plotting out strategy for the 2020 presidential election, most haven't completely made up their minds about entering what's expected to be one of the most crowded primary contests in history.

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.

Are Texas Suburbs Slipping Away From Republicans?

Nov 8, 2018
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.

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