Tribpedia: 2014 Statewide Elections

Tribpedia

The 2014 statewide elections feature more open seats — posts without incumbents seeking re-election — than any Texas election since 1990. And even though presidential ballots attract bigger turnouts, a gubernatorial year with competitive races from the top to the bottom of the ballot should engender some voter interest.

As with the 2012 elections, the courts could have a role to play ...

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Van de Putte Calls For Higher Minimum Wage

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.

During a Spanish-language townhall on Univision, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, advocated for raising the minimum wage in Texas. She appeared alone at the event, still pushing to expand the number of debates with her Republican opponent, state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston. Only one is scheduled.

Analysis: It's a Lot Easier to Rule With a Mandate

It's easier to govern if you have a mandate, and you build the mandate while you're campaigning. So far, the agenda for the next set of officeholders is a little murky. The campaign for governor so far has been more about the histories and challenges in the lives of the contestants than about their differences over issues facing the state.

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

Despite Huge Warchest, Abbott Still Fundraising

Despite having the largest warchest in Texas politics, Attorney General Greg Abbott keeps adding to it with a series of fundraisers scheduled into at least mid-October. In the process, the gubernatorial candidate is exhibiting plenty of confidence that Texas will remain in GOP hands come November.

Gov. Rick Perry is shown with New Hampshire voters at the Defend Freedom Pork Roast in Rochester on Aug. 23, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry is shown with New Hampshire voters at the Defend Freedom Pork Roast in Rochester on Aug. 23, 2014.

Analysis: Agreeing, but Less than 100% of the Time

Republicans in Texas are feuding internally even with a general election less than 60 days away, sticking with their officeholders and candidates when the attacks come from outside, but lining up along ideological and stylistic lines when comparing one conservative with another. While one political party can’t get itself together, the other can’t seem to stop tearing itself apart.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.

Abortion Opponents: Davis Disclosure Changes Nothing

Texas’ leading anti-abortion groups, reacting to the news that state Sen. Wendy Davis had two abortions years ago for medical reasons, reiterated their opposition to the termination of pregnancies, including ones where an unborn child is diagnosed with severe disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.
Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.

Analysis: A Personal and Political Race for Governor

Political campaigns can be cunning and crafty affairs where candidates are cautiously presented and positions are carefully tailored to voters. But the contenders are humans, and policy is sometimes personal. Consider Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott, the two candidates for governor. 

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.

Davis Memoir Discusses Adversity of Childhood, Career

In her memoir, state Sen. Wendy Davis talks about the difficulties of her childhood, her two failed marriages and her political career. She notes regrets from a past campaign and the events surrounding her 2013 filibuster of abortion legislation. 

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 Memoir Reveals Two Terminated Pregnancies

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, reveals in her new book that she terminated two pregnancies — one because the unborn baby had an acute brain abnormality and the other because she had an ectopic pregnancy.

Republican attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks one-on-one with members of the media following his appearance at a Congress Avenue coffeehouse on July 10, 2014.
Republican attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks one-on-one with members of the media following his appearance at a Congress Avenue coffeehouse on July 10, 2014.

UTD Students: We Were Excluded From Abbott Event

When Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott unveiled his higher education plan on the University of Texas at Dallas campus on Tuesday, students were not invited, according to the president of the university's student government. 

 

A wind-blown sign directed voters to Barton Hills Elementary, Precinct 342, Austin on Nov. 5, 2013.
A wind-blown sign directed voters to Barton Hills Elementary, Precinct 342, Austin on Nov. 5, 2013.

Analysis: For Voters, a Few Discouraging Words

The candidates and the campaigns are encouraging people to vote, but the political news in Texas makes voting sound difficult — or even criminal. A legal challenge to the state's voter ID law is underway, a cocaine-for-votes scandal is unfolding in South Texas and state investigation shut down a voter drive but issued no criminal charges. Is that supposed to make voters feel better?

Audrey Abbott, left, joins her father, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, to greet (from right) Matthew Tucker, Ellen Tucker, Michael Tucker and Joy Baughman during a block walk on Nov. 9., 2013, in Austin.
Audrey Abbott, left, joins her father, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, to greet (from right) Matthew Tucker, Ellen Tucker, Michael Tucker and Joy Baughman during a block walk on Nov. 9., 2013, in Austin.

In Texas, Some Political Ground Games Go Digital

When most Texas voters think of traditional political campaigns, they envision blockwalking and yard signs. In many races, however, the modern-day "ground game" has gone digital. So has all that changed how politicians run their races?

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.

Van de Putte Hits Patrick on School Finance Votes

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said Wednesday that her GOP opponent, Dan Patrick, was “rewriting history” by taking credit for the restoration of some education funding cuts. Patrick's campaign hit back at the criticism.

A voting precinct at the Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin is shown in November 2013.
A voting precinct at the Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin is shown in November 2013.

Analysis: A Lot of Races, But Not as Much Drama

With fewer than 10 weeks left until Election Day, almost all of the Texas races for Congress and the Legislature are all but over. Just a handful of competitive races — one each in the congressional delegation and the state Senate and fewer than a dozen in the House —  remain. 

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on August 31, 2014.
Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on August 31, 2014.

Inside Texas Politics: Lawyering Up

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, we talked about Thursday's ruling by a Travis County district judge that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional, the delay in raising standards on state exams, Gov. Rick Perry addition of a sixth attorney to his legal team and more.

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 Plans

While recieving 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.

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.

Davis Releases Full Tax Return

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis on Tuesday publicly released her full 2013 tax return, four days after giving copies to the media with the stipulation that the document couldn't be published in full. The decision came as the Tribune was preparing to publish a story about the limited release. 

 

 

 

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 Releases 2013 Tax Information

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.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at the Texas Business Roundtable candidate forum on Jan. 14, and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee, addresses delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention on June 27.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at the Texas Business Roundtable candidate forum on Jan. 14, and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee, addresses delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention on June 27.

Business Sees Pros of Lieutenant Governor Candidates

State Sens. Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte have taken to promoting their business credentials while campaigning to become the state's lieutenant governor in a race that influential groups say should be good for business.

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.

Railroad Commission Hopefuls Discuss Disposal Well Plan

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.