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Elections 2016: Texas races

In Texas, rhetoric vs. reality amid wave of Central Americans

In Texas, rhetoric vs. reality amid wave of Central Americans

For 5½ years, gang members terrorized Aranza Rabanales’ family, demanding a cut of the money from her parents’ restaurant in Guatemala and threatening violence if they didn’t pay. Rabanales, 19, often considered fleeing the country, as tens of thousands of Guatemalans have. Her decision was made for her two months ago, when her family’s Quetzaltenango house was sprayed...
Dawnna Dukes should resign immediately, a would-be replacement says

Dawnna Dukes should resign immediately, a would-be replacement says

Jose “Chito” Vela III, who is hoping to replace retiring state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, said Wednesday that she should step down immediately, rather than waiting until January and leaving her district without a representative for key parts of the next legislative session. “The sooner she is out, the sooner someone can get in there and get on the floor and fight for Texas Democratic values...
Herman: Texas Electoral College member to quit over Donald Trump vote

Herman: Texas Electoral College member to quit over Donald Trump vote

In a decision detailed in an intriguing 2,667-word explanation, East Texas welding supply salesman Art Sisneros says he’ll resign from the Electoral College rather than become a “faithless elector” who cannot cast his ballot for Donald Trump, whom he likens to Skittles. I wrote last week about how Sisneros, selected at this year’s state Republican convention as his congressional...
Greg Abbott ‘hopeful’ Trump win means Texas can cut border spending

Greg Abbott ‘hopeful’ Trump win means Texas can cut border spending

Gov. Greg Abbott signaled this week that the election of Donald Trump might give Texas an opportunity to dial back its unprecedented and costly border security campaign, which has an $800 million price tag in the state’s current two-year budget. Abbott “is hopeful that President-elect Trump will implement a border security policy that eases the enormous financial burden Texas taxpayers...
Rick Perry met with Trump Monday; Tuesday he’s Dancing with the Stars

Rick Perry met with Trump Monday; Tuesday he’s Dancing with the Stars

The Presidential Transition team issued a readout of President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting Monday with Rick Perry: “In his meeting with former Texas Governor Rick Perry, the President-elect had an in-depth discussion on homeland security, border control, and illegal immigration. Their conversation also included the bureaucratic challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security and...
Is Rick Perry on a short list for Donald Trump’s energy secretary?

Is Rick Perry on a short list for Donald Trump’s energy secretary?

Is President-elect Donald Trump considering naming Rick Perry as secretary of energy in his administration? According to a report Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, the answer is yes. But, as the Journal noted, the Energy Department is one of three that Rick Perry, during his first ill-fated run for the White House, wanted to eliminate. And it was Perry’s inability to remember that, that...
Is Ted Cruz being considered for attorney general?

Is Ted Cruz being considered for attorney general?

This much we know: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York Tuesday. According to a report in Bloomberg, the former bitter rivals talked about the possibility of Cruz serving as attorney general in a Trump administration. Bloomberg cited an unnamed “person familiar with the matter.” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a former rival of...
Sid Miller says he fired campaign worker responsible for vulgar tweet

Sid Miller says he fired campaign worker responsible for vulgar tweet

After his campaign Twitter account referred to Hillary Clinton with a sexist vulgarity in the run-up to the Nov. 8 election, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller sent an apology to Department of Agriculture employees, blaming the tweet on a “third-party vendor” and saying that he is “dealing with the people that sent this tweet out,” according to a copy of the letter provided...

Matt Mackowiak: Trump proved everyone wrong

I’ll admit it — I was wrong. Donald Trump just won the most improbable, shocking victory in American presidential political history. As it turned out, Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate. She was distrusted by 7 in 10 voters, incapable of creating enthusiasm, offered no new big ideas and inexplicably ran as a status quo candidate in a change election year. We learned that enthusiasm...
Donald Trump’s victory exposes deepening rural-urban Texas divide

Donald Trump’s victory exposes deepening rural-urban Texas divide

The morning after protesters started gathering in downtown Austin, Dallas and other big cities across the country to say that Donald Trump isn’t their president, Freddy Debault sat in a leather recliner, wearing a robe and watching HGTV. Debault, 82, had cooked for her family the night before — a big dinner of pork steak, black-eyed peas and succotash — and wanted to relax. She was...
How an Austin tweet about Trump protests became a national conspiracy

How an Austin tweet about Trump protests became a national conspiracy

It was the sort of Twitter post for which a charged post-election moment, full of conspiracy theories and anxieties, was perfectly primed. Eric Tucker, a founder of a technology company with an Austin office called PocketMath, claimed that protesters who had gathered Wednesday night in Austin to voice their anger about the presidential election outcome were “not as organic as they seem.&rdquo...
Herman: What do the anti-Trump protesters want?

Herman: What do the anti-Trump protesters want?

It’s a hypothetical so obvious I’m hesitant to go there. But let’s try this scenario on for size. In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s victory, marauding bands of angry Donald Trump supporters blocked bridges, streets and highways while vowing she’ll never be their president and they’ll use civil disobedience in an effort to stymie her every move in the White House...
Dan Patrick is the big Texas winner after Donald Trump’s election

Dan Patrick is the big Texas winner after Donald Trump’s election

At 2:07 a.m. Wednesday, moments after Donald Trump completed delivering his dignified and conciliatory victory speech in New York, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who chaired Trump’s campaign in Texas, called it “the most historic presidential election in the history of this nation.” “While I never really doubted he would win, it’s still hard for even me to believe and I always...
For unauthorized immigrant community, Trump’s election sparks fear

For unauthorized immigrant community, Trump’s election sparks fear

As election results began pouring in Tuesday night showing Republican candidate Donald Trump with a surprising lead, Sheridan Aguirre received a phone call from his 10-year-old brother. He was worried that Trump would win the presidency and deport his family members, said Aguirre, who is an immigrant and works for the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream. “He called me crying, and I told...
Local Democrats call for resistance, outreach in wake of Trump victory

Local Democrats call for resistance, outreach in wake of Trump victory

As stunned Democrats awoke to a Donald Trump presidential victory Wednesday, Austin City Council Member Greg Casar took to Facebook to reject calls for healing and unity. “I’m calling for resistance,” Casar wrote. The council member, a former community organizer for the Workers Defense Project, won re-election Tuesday night over two challengers. He told the American-Statesman on...
Turnout rate dips in Travis County, up slightly statewide

Turnout rate dips in Travis County, up slightly statewide

More Travis County residents cast ballots in the 2016 election than in 2012, but the rate at which the county’s registered voters turned out declined in Tuesday’s presidential election. In 2012, 381,708 Travis County voters, or 72 percent of registered voters, cast ballots. This year, 475,141 voters weighed in, but that total was only 64.9 percent of registered voters. The vast majority...
Gov. Greg Abbott sees ‘great promise’ in President-elect Donald Trump

Gov. Greg Abbott sees ‘great promise’ in President-elect Donald Trump

Gov. Greg Abbott was up until 3 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Governor’s Mansion, watching the election returns and President-elect Donald Trump’s very level and low-key victory speech, which Abbott said augured well for a new president propelled by Americans’ justified anger with Washington and the executive overreach of President Barack Obama. “I see great promise. You saw...
Top Texas Republicans react to Donald Trump’s election

Top Texas Republicans react to Donald Trump’s election

Top Texas Republicans react to Donald Trump’s election: “I congratulate President-elect Trump on an amazing victory for the American worker. This affirms what we have long known, that Americans have resoundingly rejected the Obama-Clinton agenda of bigger government, intrusive regulation, executive overreach, and lawlessness that is killing innovation and jobs, squandering opportunity...
Donald Trump wins Texas on strength with whites, older voters

Donald Trump wins Texas on strength with whites, older voters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Texas on the strength of his support with white and older voters. Trump’s margin of victory in Texas was 9 percentage points with nearly all the votes counted early Wednesday morning, making it the closest presidential contest in the state since GOP candidate Bob Dole narrowly beat Bill Clinton by 5 points in...

Democrats lose their only statewide office

Texas Democrats lost their only statewide elected official Tuesday when Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers fell to his Republican opponent, Mary Lou Keel. Keel, a 21-year GOP district judge in Houston, jumped out to a comfortable lead over Meyers, who spent 21 years as a Republican on the court before switching to the Democratic Party in 2013 over philosophical disagreements with the tea...
Texas Democrats lose their only statewide office

Texas Democrats lose their only statewide office

The Tuesday election delivered a clean sweep for Republicans in races for the Texas Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals and Railroad Commission. That means the only statewide Democratic official, Judge Larry Meyers of the Court of Criminal Appeals, has been voted out of office. Arlington voters also approved partial public financing to build a new ballpark for the Texas Rangers. Texas Democrats...
Will Hurd defeats Pete Gallego; Doggett, McCaul win

Will Hurd defeats Pete Gallego; Doggett, McCaul win

In one of the most closely watched races in Texas and across the country, Republican incumbent Will Hurd claimed victory over Democratic challenger Pete Gallego in the 23rd Congressional District Tuesday night. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Hurd led Gallego 48.6 percent to 46.6 percent. The district, which stretches along the Texas-Mexico border from San Antonio to El Paso, is among the...
Donald Trump wins Texas on strength with white, older voters

Donald Trump wins Texas on strength with white, older voters

12:55 a.m. update: Hillary Clinton won a better than 2 to 1 victory over Donald Trump in Travis County. With all the votes counted, Clinton had 306,475 votes, or 66.3 percent, to Trump’s 126,750 votes, or 27.4 percent, according to the Travis County clerk’s office. The combined early vote and Election Day turnout was 64.9 percent. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson had 21,866 votes...
Mid-day lines short for voters in Pflugerville

Mid-day lines short for voters in Pflugerville

Pflugerville resident DeMetria Morales usually votes for Republicans but couldn’t bring herself to do so in this year’s presidential race. She thought about not voting for a long time. In the end she went to Pfluger Hall on Tuesday and cast a ballot for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson — “because I don’t like the others,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t...
Students wait in lengthy lines to vote at UT campus polling places

Students wait in lengthy lines to vote at UT campus polling places

The line at the Flawn Academic Center at the University of Texas campus wrapped almost completely around the building on Tuesday afternoon, as students and faculty members waited to cast their vote on Election Day. The campus had two polling locations open Tuesday, the FAC and the University Co-op. Both had long lines and students reported waiting longer than an hour to vote at both places. During...
Greg Abbott boosts Texas GOP candidates hobbled by Trump

Greg Abbott boosts Texas GOP candidates hobbled by Trump

Gov. Greg Abbott came to San Antonio on Monday to give an election eve boost to the campaigns of two Republican state legislators and a congressman facing tough rematches in majority Hispanic districts, contending with the headwinds of a larger Democratic turnout spurred by Donald Trump’s presence at the top of the ticket. Abbott, who has endorsed Trump but kept his distance from his party&rsquo...
Ken Paxton issues warning on poll watchers

Ken Paxton issues warning on poll watchers

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion Monday reminding election officials that it is a crime to interfere with certain activities by poll watchers. It’s an issue that has been magnified by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s calls for supporters to monitor polling places over concerns of voter fraud and a “rigged system,” while Democrats have voiced...
Election 2016: Texas races to watch

Election 2016: Texas races to watch

Texas Democrats once hoped that a surge in turnout among new voters opposed to Donald Trump would help them to gain as many as nine seats in the Texas House. But with Trump’s lead in Texas now looking safe according to two recent polls, those hopes have faded. But Democrats are still aiming to flip a handful of GOP-held state House districts and one congressional race. Thanks to the partisan...
Ken Paxton warns election officials on poll watchers

Ken Paxton warns election officials on poll watchers

On Election Day eve, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion Monday reminding election officials that it is a crime to interfere with certain activities by poll watchers. It’s an issue that has been magnified by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s calls for supporters to monitor polling places over concerns of voter fraud and a “rigged system,” while...
Win or lose, Donald Trump will leave his mark on the Texas GOP

Win or lose, Donald Trump will leave his mark on the Texas GOP

No matter what happens in the presidential election Tuesday in Texas, it’s a good bet that Gov. Greg Abbott, seeking a second term, will lead Texas Republicans to a big win in 2018, especially if Hillary Clinton, their perfect foil, is in the White House. “A Democratic president is a godsend for Texas Republicans, a9d Hillary Clinton is a double win,” said Bill Miller, a leading...
Early voting wraps up in Texas with record turnout

Early voting wraps up in Texas with record turnout

Record numbers of Texans have already cast their votes for the Nov. 8 election, including about half of the voters in Travis and Williamson counties. More than 4 million Texans — well over the 2008 early voting record of 3.5 million — had voted in the state’s 15 largest counties by the end of the day Thursday, according to the most recent data available from the Texas secretary of...
Texas Latino turnout up sharply in early voting surge, analysis shows

Texas Latino turnout up sharply in early voting surge, analysis shows

A long-awaited surge in voter participation among Texas Latinos, which Democrats have for months predicted would come to pass thanks to Donald Trump’s incendiary campaign, may have arrived — but it has come in a year when Anglo voting is also on the rise, diluting the impact of increased turnout by the state’s largest minority group. Through Wednesday, with two more days of early...
As Election Day nears, Texas millennials gravitate toward Clinton

As Election Day nears, Texas millennials gravitate toward Clinton

Donald Trump is polling ahead of Hillary Clinton in Texas, but he’s trailing well behind the Democratic candidate for president with at least one group — college-age voters. Young voters heavily favored U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his primary campaign against Clinton, but as Election Day draws near, many of those same voters are putting their support behind her. After Sanders...
If re-elected, Rep. Dawnna Dukes won’t serve — but she might win anyway

If re-elected, Rep. Dawnna Dukes won’t serve — but she might win anyway

In the race for Texas House District 46, Republican Gabriel Nila has promised to represent those who want a better public education system. Libertarian Kevin Ludlow says he will represent people who think the so-called War on Drugs has gone too far. Green Party candidate Adam Michael Greeley wants to represent people with autism. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes has promised to represent no one. Facing a criminal...
Michael McCaul: Hillary Clinton committed treason

Michael McCaul: Hillary Clinton committed treason

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said Thursday morning that Hillary Clinton had committed treason, following a Fox News report that the Democratic presidential nominee’s private e-mail server had been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, citing unnamed FBI sources. The charge follows heated rhetoric from McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, a day earlier...
Sid Miller finds fringe friendships in Trump’s alt-right Twitterverse

Sid Miller finds fringe friendships in Trump’s alt-right Twitterverse

At 1:43 a.m. Tuesday, more than 12 hours before a tweet from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s Twitter account referred to Hillary Clinton using a sexually explicit, derogatory term for women, Miller, or whoever was tweeting on his behalf at that hour in the morning, tweeted a question — “Can we bring Milo back?!?” Milo is Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart senior editor...
Herman: Cornyn’s vote for Trump is something to laugh about

Herman: Cornyn’s vote for Trump is something to laugh about

John Cornyn, our senior U.S. senator, is blessed by genetics — he looks like a U.S. senator (or at least the way senators looked back when they all looked like that) – but, this year, he’s cursed by politics. Cornyn is a reasonable Republican in a year when reasonable is running second to something else on the GOP side. Departing from GOP orthodoxy, he does not seem to believe every...
Gov. Greg Abbott condemns Sid Miller’s Hillary Clinton C-word tweet

Gov. Greg Abbott condemns Sid Miller’s Hillary Clinton C-word tweet

5:15 p.m. update: Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday condemned the profane language describing Hillary Clinto that was used in a since-deleted tweet sent by Texas Agriculture Sid Miller’s account on Tuesday. “The language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment. No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way,” Abbott said in a statement. Miller’s campaign initially said the tweet...
Report: Rick Perry encouraged Michael McCaul to take on Ted Cruz

Report: Rick Perry encouraged Michael McCaul to take on Ted Cruz

In recent weeks, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul has said many people have encouraged him to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 Republican primary. It turns out one of those people may have been Rick Perry. The former governor this summer encouraged McCaul, an Austin Republican, to run for the Senate seat, after Cruz famously declined to endorse Donald Trump in a primetime speech at the Republican...
Travis County Jail at election-year crossroads on immigration policy

Travis County Jail at election-year crossroads on immigration policy

The era of full cooperation with federal immigration authorities at the Travis County Jail is poised to come to an end in January with the likely election of Constable Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidate for sheriff who has said she won’t honor all requests to turn over undocumented immigrants. It’s a position that immigration activists have championed since retiring Sheriff Greg...
Joaquín Castro: FBI’s Comey `needs to explain’ October surprise

Joaquín Castro: FBI’s Comey `needs to explain’ October surprise

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, Saturday criticized FBI Director James Comey for telling Congress less than two weeks before the presidential election that the FBI was examining a new trove of emails that may be related to the completed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, without any evidence that the new emails revealed anything at all. &ldquo...
Why Donald Trump’s fundraising efforts fell short in Texas

Why Donald Trump’s fundraising efforts fell short in Texas

Houston billionaire Hushang Ansary and his wife, Shahla, last year each wrote $1 million checks to Right to Rise, the super PAC that raised more than $100 million to promote Jeb Bush for president. Over the course of the 2016 election cycle, the Ansarys wrote 113 more checks, totaling more than $2 million, to a vast array of Republican committees and candidates, right down to Texan U.S. Reps. Will...
Why AISD has little to show for Dawnna Dukes’ $1 million contract

Why AISD has little to show for Dawnna Dukes’ $1 million contract

In 2015, Heavy Roadway Construction Services, a local Latino-owned company, contacted the Austin school district about bidding on construction projects. The firm inquired about the work through a program that is designed to boost the number of minority- and women-owned companies working for the district and that is handled by a group of consultants led by D.M. Dukes & Associates, a firm owned by state...
Trump edges Clinton by 3 points in UT/Texas Tribune poll

Trump edges Clinton by 3 points in UT/Texas Tribune poll

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a 3-point lead over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in Texas, according to new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released early Thursday. According to the poll, Trump receives 45 percent support from likely voters to 42 percent for Clinton, 7 percent for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, 2 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein...
Hays County constable candidate has long rap sheet from ’90s

Hays County constable candidate has long rap sheet from ’90s

As the only person on the ballot, it is very likely that Raymond Helm III will be the next Hays County Precinct 3 constable. In that role, which pays $67,762 a year, he’ll have all the responsibilities of a peace officer in the state as well as some additional civil law duties. He’ll be able to arrest people, write tickets, serve as a bailiff in court and serve people with warrants. But...
State, local officials address claims of voting irregularities

State, local officials address claims of voting irregularities

Just days into Texas’ early voting period, state and local elections officials are addressing voting irregularity claims from across the state. The secretary of state’s office, which oversees elections, reports that it has received between 2,500 and 3,000 calls daily on the office’s election hotline, including calls about suspected irregularities — more than in the last presidential...
Deadline is Friday to get mail-in ballot

Deadline is Friday to get mail-in ballot

The Texas deadline to register for a mail-in ballot for the Nov. 8 election is Friday. For those who have not yet registered to vote by mail, applications must be received by county voting clerks by the close of business Friday. And this close to the deadline, the only way to guarantee access to a mail-in ballot is to download an application from the Texas secretary of state’s website, then...
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