Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at a Republican caucus held at the DoubleTree in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa on February 1, 2016.
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at a Republican caucus held at the DoubleTree in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa on February 1, 2016.

Analysis: Texas, Uncharacteristically, is an Early Primary State

The presidential field is shrinking, but the nominations won’t be decided until Texans have spoken. It’s partly a matter of timing and partly a matter of size. Iowa and New Hampshire are important. But the nominees will only be decided after Texas — which starts early voting next week — and the rest of the states start weighing in.

 
 

State Auditor's Office Investigating Rep. Dukes' Use of State Staff

Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.
Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.

The State Auditor's Office is investigating whether state Rep. Dawnna Dukes improperly required her legislative staffers to participate in work for a nonprofit group that she founded, a Capitol source told The Texas Tribune on Friday. 

Houston Sheriff Still Shielding Killer's Record

Victor Reyes, shown in 2001 jail mug shot from Hidalgo County. Authorities say Reyes, an undocumented immigrant, went on a January 2015 shooting spree in Harris County that killed two and wounded three.
Victor Reyes, shown in 2001 jail mug shot from Hidalgo County. Authorities say Reyes, an undocumented immigrant, went on a January 2015 shooting spree in Harris County that killed two and wounded three.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office has decided to keep secret its investigative files on a Mexican national whose 2015 shooting spree in Houston left two people dead and three injured.  

 

Court of Criminal Appeals Candidates Emphasize Experience

Democrat Lawrence "Larry" Meyers (top left) will face the winner of the Republican primary for Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2. The GOP candidates are Mary Lou Keel (top right), Chris Oldner (bottom left) and Ray Wheless (bottom right).
Democrat Lawrence "Larry" Meyers (top left) will face the winner of the Republican primary for Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2. The GOP candidates are Mary Lou Keel (top right), Chris Oldner (bottom left) and Ray Wheless (bottom right).

Although the Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest criminal court in the state — and it deals with a number of hot-button issues including the death penalty — its nine judges don’t attract much attention. That can make campaigning for a seat on the court difficult.

The Brief: With Second Place in Sight, Cruz Has Big Push in N.H.

Texas Sen. and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz held a town hall meeting at the Peterborough Town Hall on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. He brought Hank Suprun, 9, of Dallas, up to ask his question. Suprun and his family made a special trip to New Hampshire to learn more about the primary.
Texas Sen. and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz held a town hall meeting at the Peterborough Town Hall on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. He brought Hank Suprun, 9, of Dallas, up to ask his question. Suprun and his family made a special trip to New Hampshire to learn more about the primary.

The pivotal and increasingly more difficult to predict GOP presidential primary in New Hampshire will happen tomorrow with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz campaigning with an urgency similar to his efforts in Iowa.

ICE Chief a Bipartisan Punching Bag in Immigration Debates

Sarah R. Saldaña, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., December 9, 2015.
Sarah R. Saldaña, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., December 9, 2015.

When she was a federal prosecutor in Texas, Sarah Saldaña was seen as hard-nosed and nonpartisan. Since President Obama appointed her to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she's learned to take hits from the left and right.

U.S. House Race a Test Case of Identity Politics

Mexican flags wave along Harrisburg Ave. in Houston. Drawn in 1991 to reflect the area’s booming Hispanic population, the Houston-based 29th Congressional District has never had a Hispanic representative.
Mexican flags wave along Harrisburg Ave. in Houston. Drawn in 1991 to reflect the area’s booming Hispanic population, the Houston-based 29th Congressional District has never had a Hispanic representative.

The upcoming primary face-off between incumbent Gene Green and Adrian Garcia in Houston's 29th congressional district will test case the influence of identity politics in Texas Democratic races.