Tribpedia: 2014 Legislative Elections

Tribpedia

With Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement that he won’t seek a fourth term, statewide races have popped wide open for the first time in years, with wide-ranging implications for Texas legislators. As some seek to move into new jobs, they’re leaving their former offices up for grabs — and fierce electioneering.

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Analysis: A Missing Piece in the Voter ID Debate

Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.
Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.

State leaders asked for and received a study that said the voter photo ID law would leave more than a half-million voters without required state-issued IDs. But they didn't tell most legislators about it, according to a federal judge's findings. And recent court rulings put that law into a strange place: It is simultaneously enforceable and unconstitutional.

Personal injury lawyer Thomas J. Henry of Corpus Christi, (bottom) is backing Democrat Nicholas "Nico" LaHood in the Bexar County district attorney's race against 16-year Republican incumbent Susan Reed (top)..
Personal injury lawyer Thomas J. Henry of Corpus Christi, (bottom) is backing Democrat Nicholas "Nico" LaHood in the Bexar County district attorney's race against 16-year Republican incumbent Susan Reed (top)..

Wealthy Donor Pumps Cash Into Bexar County Race

Corpus Christi personal injury lawyer Thomas J. Henry has poured $694,000 into the campaign of Democrat Nicholas LaHood, who is trying to unseat 16-year Republican incumbent Susan Reed as Bexar County district attorney. Henry plans to give even more, and some folks in San Antonio are wondering what all that cash is for.

 

State Sen. Glenn Hegar, the Republican nominee for state comptroller, is shown at a TribLive event on May 29, 2014.
State Sen. Glenn Hegar, the Republican nominee for state comptroller, is shown at a TribLive event on May 29, 2014.

Analysis: Campaigning for a Seat That's Not Yet in Play

Three candidates are vying for the state Senate seat occupied by Glenn Hegar, a Katy Republican. They're even advertising. But Hegar, the GOP nominee for state comptroller, is still in office, and his Senate seat is not on the November ballot.

Explore 30-Day Campaign Finance Reports

Now that the deadline for filing 30-day campaign finance reports ahead of the Nov. 4 election has passed, we can get a better snapshot of the financial health of Texas candidates. Use this tool to search data for all statewide, State Board of Education and legislative candidates who filed electronically with the Texas Ethics Commission. You can see the top-line totals for contributions, expenditures, loans and cash on hand for each campaign.

The Third General Session during platform debate at the Republican Convention, Fort Worth on June 6, 2014.
The Third General Session during platform debate at the Republican Convention, Fort Worth on June 6, 2014.

Analysis: In Democrats' Fall, a Lesson for GOP

The Texas Democrats are now where the Republicans were when Wayne Thorburn was executive director of the Texas GOP. Thorburn, who held the post from 1977 to 1983, says the minority party is not yet a statewide contender but could become one.

President Barack Obama speaks on the economy at the Paramount Theater in Austin July 10, 2014, following a two-day swing thorough Texas.
President Barack Obama speaks on the economy at the Paramount Theater in Austin July 10, 2014, following a two-day swing thorough Texas.

Analysis: In 2014 Campaigns, President's Shadow Looms

This isn’t going to go down as a year when big ideas and political celebrity decided the elections. It’ll go down as a referendum on the Democrat who has been in the White House for the last six years. Democratic candidates want to talk issues; Republicans just want to talk about Barack Obama

Campaign Finance Database Updated

Ahead of the final month leading up to the November elections and the pending 30-day filing deadlines, we've updated our campaign finance database to include all data up to the last filing deadline in July. The app is current up to June 30, 2014. Search our database by contributor or filer name.

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.

Analysis: For Straus, Division Might Be Strength

House Speaker Joe Straus, seeking a fourth term at the helm of the chamber, is facing a challenge from state Rep. Scott Turner. If Straus prevails, he could gain an advantage in setting the agenda for the next legislative session. Everybody else in management — the governor and the lieutenant governor — will be new on the job. 

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry and state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock at Fort Hood press  conference April 4, 2014.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry and state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock at Fort Hood press conference April 4, 2014.

Analysis: A Political Split Between Brass and Caution

Most incumbents and front-runners have something in common: They're cautious in the vicinity of the public. But some of them aren't like that. In recent public appearances, Ted Cruz and Rick Perry zipped right past the usual political warning signs, while others, like Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick, took it easy.

Austin voters waited in line to cast ballots for constitutional amendments on Nov. 5, 2013.
Austin voters waited in line to cast ballots for constitutional amendments on Nov. 5, 2013.

Analysis: Democrats, Republicans — and Novembers

The biggest single cluster of Texas voters has not been to the polls so far this year: Texans who vote only in November. That group outnumbers those who vote in either the Republican or the Democratic primaries. Both parties are counting on this group.