POLITICS: Elections

Analysis: To Debate or Not to Debate?

UPDATED: A televised statewide debate between Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis fell apart on Friday, and another one popped up in its place, raising questions about whether voters will get many chances to compare the two candidates for governor. Does it matter?

Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.
Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.

Critics Say Bond Elections Lack True Transparency

Texas voters approve billions of dollars in new local debt each year. A growing group of critics argues that voters wouldn't be so agreeable if they were more clearly informed of the debt that's already owed in their name.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to crowd during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to crowd during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014

Davis Draws Praise, Criticism for Education Reform Plans

While receiving praise from education leaders in Austin and fending off fresh criticism about her tax return, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis promoted the latest additions to her education reform proposals.

Critics Say Bond Elections Lack True Transparency

Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.
Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.

Texas voters approve billions of dollars in new local debt each year. A growing group of critics argues that voters wouldn't be so agreeable if they were more clearly informed of the debt that's already owed in their name.

Davis Draws Praise, Criticism for Education Reform Plans

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to crowd during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to crowd during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014

While receiving praise from education leaders in Austin and fending off fresh criticism about her tax return, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis promoted the latest additions to her education reform proposals.

Analysis: Despite the Calendar, Campaigns Are Taking a Back Seat

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.

This is the time of a political year when voters start — slowly — to pay attention to the candidates, issues and arguments ahead of a general election. But this year, there is something else to watch instead. 

Davis Releases Full Tax Return

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.

On Tuesday, as the Tribune was preparing to write a story about Wendy Davis' limited release of her 2013 tax return, her campaign agreed to its full publication. You can find it here

 

Davis Releases 2013 Tax Information

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis addresses supporters before they canvass for her in East Austin.
Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis addresses supporters before they canvass for her in East Austin.

Wendy Davis earned significantly less income from her legal work in 2013 than in previous years, according to tax documents released Friday by her campaign. But the Democratic gubernatorial candidate also received a six-figure payment that year for her upcoming memoir.

Villalba Urges GOP to Woo Hispanics

Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, takes questions from reporters after filing the Protection of Texas Children Act on Feb. 6, 2013.
Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, takes questions from reporters after filing the Protection of Texas Children Act on Feb. 6, 2013.

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, urged the GOP to focus on appealing to Hispanic voters, emphasizing that the “ultimate survivability of the Republican Party” is at stake, in an Austin speech Thursday.

Fact Check: Leticia Van De Putte at the State Democratic Convention

Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte speaks at the Democratic state convention in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2014.
Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte speaks at the Democratic state convention in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2014.

With help from The Washington Post’s Truth Teller, we’re analyzing speeches Texas’ candidates for lieutenant governor gave at their respective state political party conventions. Here we focus on Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte.

Patrick, Van de Putte Take Aim at Border Crisis

Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are facing off in a fiery race to become the state's next lieutenant governor, address delegates at their respective party's state conventions in June.
Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are facing off in a fiery race to become the state's next lieutenant governor, address delegates at their respective party's state conventions in June.

As the recent surge of Central Americans entering the country illegally through Texas’ border with Mexico has drawn national attention, it has also become a major talking point for the 2014 candidates for lieutenant governor.

 

Van De Putte, Patrick Show Similar Fundraising Totals

State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.
State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.

Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are facing off in a fiery race for lieutenant governor, have both raised about $1 million since the end of May.

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Video: Dewhurst Will Run for Re-Election in 2014

Disposal Well Plan Seen as First Step in Addressing Earthquakes

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

Two candidates for the Railroad Commission welcomed the agency's newly proposed requirements for disposal well applications, saying they were a good first step in addressing the spate of earthquakes that have shaken up parts of North Texas.

Analysis: Timing of Mayoral Speculation Not on Van de Putte's Side

Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte speaks at the Democratic state convention in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2014.
Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte speaks at the Democratic state convention in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2014.

Last week, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, shot down speculation she was considering a run for San Antonio mayor. The rumors could hurt her prospects on multiple fronts. 

Van de Putte Calls for Reducing High-Stakes Testing

State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, calls for reducing high-stakes testing in a new plan for Texas schools. The campaign of her Republican opponent, Dan Patrick, said the plan would do nothing to help turn around underperforming schools.