Tribpedia: 2010 Legislative Races

Tribpedia

Nearly 200 legislative races were on the ballot in advance of 2010's March 2 primary. The Texas Tribune identified a handful as competitive contests, and reporters fanned out across the state to get a closer look at the races that will shape the 2011 Legislature and the next Texas delegation in the U.S. Congress.

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Court Stays the Course on Politics and Business

Corporations and unions can play in politics, but a full disclosure is not required. A corporate political campaign in East Texas two years ago was unusual, featuring an unknown corporation that was open about what it was doing when it ran ads that targeted a state legislator.

Former Texas state representative Ellen Cohen, photographed in her Houston campaign offices.
Former Texas state representative Ellen Cohen, photographed in her Houston campaign offices.

From Lege to Council Race, Cohen Takes a "Step Closer"

When Ellen Cohen decided, two months after losing re-election to her state House seat, to run for Houston City Council, a friend worried, “Isn’t that a step down?” Cohen’s answer? “No, it’s a step closer.” Running for city council “is on a different scale, sure," Cohen said, "but the immediacy of being able to do something in the city you chose to move to is really appealing.”

Dan Neil at table with attorneys during a public hearing for the election contest of House D-48
Dan Neil at table with attorneys during a public hearing for the election contest of House D-48

Election Contest in HD-48 Begins

A Texas House investigation to determine the winner of the House District 48 race has begun.  Testimony is expected to last at least a couple of days.  Only 12 votes separate the election winner, Austin Democrat Donna Howard and her Republican challenger Dan Neil.  But Neil says the certified vote totals include illegal ballots while excluding several overseas votes.  That makes the goal for Neil very simple: show a gain of 12 votes.  Reporting for KUT News and the Texas Tribune Ben Philpott has more on Day One.

Dan Neil at table with attorneys during a public hearing for the election contest of House D-48
Dan Neil at table with attorneys during a public hearing for the election contest of House D-48

Testimony Under Way in HD-48 Fight [Updated]

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More than a dozen witnesses took the stand today to testify about where they lived and how they voted in the House District 48 contest in the November 2010 election.

Disputed Howard-Neil Contest Goes to the House

Travis County Republican Dan Neil lost his first race for elective office in November by just 16 votes. Having failed in that challenge to state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, he asked for a recount, and lost again, this time by 12 votes. Now, like other just-by-a-nose losers before him, he's appealing to the Texas House of Representatives in the hope that it will declare some of the voters in that election ineligible and put him in first place and Howard in second. But history does not offer Neil much hope. The proceedings start today. 

A Conversation With Mark McKinnon and Mike Baselice

For the 15th event in our TribLive series, I interviewed the former George W. Bush and John McCain media strategist and Rick Perry's pollster about what happened Tuesday night: how the Republicans took back the majority in the U.S. House and upped their number of seats in the Texas House by 30 percent, what that portends for the next two years in Austin and Washington, D.C., and whether the governor is really running for president.

The group Hispanic Republicans of Texas at a news conference Nov. 3, 2010.
The group Hispanic Republicans of Texas at a news conference Nov. 3, 2010.

Hispanic Republicans Win Seats in the Texas House

Republican victories in Texas House races included several by Hispanic Republicans. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, those freshman members may have to perform a bit of a balancing act in a party that seems likely to push hard-line immigration legislation.
Paper-ballot boxes flood Reliant Center, where Harris County officials convened to count thousands of paper ballots.
Paper-ballot boxes flood Reliant Center, where Harris County officials convened to count thousands of paper ballots.

Voting Officials Delivered Despite Losing Machines

A fire in August that destroyed thousands of electronic voting machines in Houston prolonged the release of Harris County voting totals. Despite the delay, election officials expect to decide close races early Wednesday morning. But the outcome of one hotly contested race is known: Bill White defeated Rick Perry in his home county by a margin of less than 2 percent.

Yes, the GOP Wave Turned Out to Be a Tsunami

Rick Perry won his third full term as governor of Texas on Tuesday, defeating former Houston Mayor Bill White by a convincing double-digit margin and positioning himself for a role on the national stage. And he led a Republican army that swept all statewide offices for the fourth election in a row, took out three Democratic U.S. congressmen and was on its way to a nearly two-thirds majority in the Texas House — a mark the GOP hasn't seen since the days following the Civil War.

A voter casts a ballot in Travis County on November 2, 2010.
A voter casts a ballot in Travis County on November 2, 2010.

Election Night 2010: The Liveblog

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The Tribune's crack reporting staff — in Houston, Buda and other political hotspots — will be posting the latest news and spin the minute the polls close. Check back and refresh often for updates and photos from the field.

A Guide to Texas Tribune's Election Night Coverage

We'll be chock full of constantly updated content beginning at 7 p.m. CDT, when most of the polls close around the state. Here's a handy guide to the barrage of interactives and information you'll find our site, plus where to watch and listen to your favorite Trib staffers make sense of it all on TV and radio.

Voting signs in Austin during the 2010 election cycle.
Voting signs in Austin during the 2010 election cycle.

What Do Political Signs Say Beyond "Vote for Me"?

With just a few days left in the 2010 campaign, political signs are littering streets across Texas. But are they saying something other than "vote for me"? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune asked Brent Ladd of GSD&M's Idea City to demystify color and font choice and the decision to feature a candidate's picture.