POLITICS

House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner
House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner

Texas House Bracing for First Contested Speaker Vote in 40 Years

Allies of both House Speaker Joe Straus and challenger Scott Turner are calling for a record vote in January when House lawmakers convene to elect their leader. Such a record vote hasn't occurred since 1975.

State Rep.-elect Molly White, right, speaks on a women's health panel at the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
State Rep.-elect Molly White, right, speaks on a women's health panel at the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

For Molly White, Abortion Changed Everything

When Molly White takes office in January, she will immediately be one of the Texas House’s most conservative members. But to a degree unique among her new colleagues, ending abortion is White’s personal and political passion. 

Attorney General Greg Abbott indicates his willingness to sue President Obama on immigration during a press conference Nov. 24, 2014.
Attorney General Greg Abbott indicates his willingness to sue President Obama on immigration during a press conference Nov. 24, 2014.

The Brief: Nov. 25, 2014

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott indicated on Monday that Texas could soon file suit over the Obama administration's executive order intended to protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from the threat of immediate deportation.

For Molly White, Abortion Changed Everything

State Rep.-elect Molly White, right, speaks on a women's health panel at the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
State Rep.-elect Molly White, right, speaks on a women's health panel at the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

When Molly White takes office in January, she will immediately be one of the Texas House’s most conservative members. But to a degree unique among her new colleagues, ending abortion is White’s personal and political passion. 

The Brief: Nov. 25, 2014

Attorney General Greg Abbott indicates his willingness to sue President Obama on immigration during a press conference Nov. 24, 2014.
Attorney General Greg Abbott indicates his willingness to sue President Obama on immigration during a press conference Nov. 24, 2014.

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott indicated on Monday that Texas could soon file suit over the Obama administration's executive order intended to protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from the threat of immediate deportation.

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The Complete 2014 Election Brackets

Analysis: Election Season Headed for Overtime

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte and state Rep. Mike Villarreal — both Democrats from San Antonio — will face-off in the race to become the city's next mayor.
State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte and state Rep. Mike Villarreal — both Democrats from San Antonio — will face-off in the race to become the city's next mayor.

Open spots in the political firmament are prompting officeholders to shop around some, and voters are about to see some names on special election ballots that were on the general election ballots just a couple of weeks ago.

At Abbott's Side, Hodge Readies for a New Role

Texas Governor-Elect Greg Abbott introduces Daniel Hodge as interim chief of staff who will oversee the transition team from a Perry administration to an Abbott shop.
Texas Governor-Elect Greg Abbott introduces Daniel Hodge as interim chief of staff who will oversee the transition team from a Perry administration to an Abbott shop.

Little known outside the halls of Texas government, Daniel Hodge has become one of its more powerful behind-the-scenes figures. That's only becoming more true: He's expected to serve a key role in the new governor's administration.

The Brief: Nov. 19, 2014

House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.
House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.

Despite his challenger's vow to take a speaker vote to the floor on the first day of session, backers of House Speaker Joe Straus spent Tuesday trying to demonstrate the race is already a foregone conclusion.

Border Surge Could Continue Through August

Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.

The surge of state law enforcement on Texas’ southern border will continue through August if an $86 million request made by the state’s top leaders is approved next month by budget writers. 

 

 

In San Antonio, Ambitions Rising Among Hispanic Democrats

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte and state Rep. Mike Villarreal — both Democrats from San Antonio — will face-off in the race to become the city's next mayor.
State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte and state Rep. Mike Villarreal — both Democrats from San Antonio — will face-off in the race to become the city's next mayor.

Nothing better demonstrates San Antonio's distinction as a political springboard for Hispanic Democrats than the political turnover triggered when Mayor Julián Castro left to join the Obama administration.

The Brief: Nov. 21, 2014

President Barack Obama chastises Republicans in Congress for stonewalling his agenda in a speech July 10, 2014 at the Paramount Theater in Austin.
President Barack Obama chastises Republicans in Congress for stonewalling his agenda in a speech July 10, 2014 at the Paramount Theater in Austin.

Texas will feel more of the effects of Obama's action while a proposed overhaul of the Secure Communities programs draws bipartisan criticism.

Obama's Immigration Plan Could Affect Thousands in Texas

President Barack Obama meets with advisors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Aug. 4, 2014.
President Barack Obama meets with advisors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Aug. 4, 2014.

President Obama on Thursday said he will use his executive authority to grant millions of undocumented immigrants a work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings. Reactions from Republicans were swift and outraged.