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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Analysis: Enterprise Fund Controversy Will Linger

Thanks to a tough examination from the State Auditor's Office, the Texas Enterprise Fund has become an election issue. But it was an issue before now, and will be an issue during the next legislative session. In fact, state lawmakers were talking about reforms and revisions before the auditor ever got started.

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Oct. 5, 2014.
Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Oct. 5, 2014.

Inside Texas Politics: Ebola

This week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics with host Jason Wheeler, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy and Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey is dominated by talk of the first appearance of the Ebola virus in the U.S. 

Newsreel: Disease and Debates

Texas Weekly

This week in the Texas Weekly Newsreel: A confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas is testing the state's public health emergency response system. Also, the last set of scheduled debates between the nominees for governor and lieutenant governor took place.

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.

State Sens. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, the candidates for lieutenant governor, debated in Austin on Sept. 29, 2014.
State Sens. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, the candidates for lieutenant governor, debated in Austin on Sept. 29, 2014.

In Debate, Patrick and Van de Putte Spar Over Taxes

In the only scheduled debate in their race for lieutenant governor, state Sens. Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte faced off on Monday night in a lively exchange that displayed their divergent positions on everything from health care and immigration to school finance and taxes.

 

Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte, the Republican and Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, spoke at the Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte, the Republican and Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, spoke at the Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.

Patrick, Van de Putte Set to Take Stage for Debate

State Sens. Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte, who are running for lieutenant governor, will face off in a debate for the first time Monday evening. The face-off is likely to be the only one between the candidates before voters take to the polls for the Nov. 4 general election.

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.

TribFest: Ready for 2016

At the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival, Politico's Maggie Haberman, MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post, Jonathan Martin of The New York Times and Dave Weigel of Bloomberg Politics previewed the 2016 presidential race.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, during a legislative committee hearing on human trafficking in La Joya on July 24. Both senators are candidates for lieutenant governor.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, during a legislative committee hearing on human trafficking in La Joya on July 24. Both senators are candidates for lieutenant governor.

Push to Repeal DREAM Act Could Face GOP Criticism

State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, has vowed to repeal the Texas DREAM Act. While such an effort could gain traction among some conservative lawmakers, Patrick could face criticism from Republicans trying to reach out to Hispanic voters.

Ann Richards (l) on the campaign trail in 1988 and Clayton Williams during the campaign in 1990
Ann Richards (l) on the campaign trail in 1988 and Clayton Williams during the campaign in 1990

Analysis: Contenders' Dreams of Political Buzzer Shots

It's the time of year when trailing candidates tell voters to ignore the polls and fill them with stories of past campaigns that came from behind to win. For Texas Democrats, the favorite fable is the 1990 race between Ann Richards and Clayton Williams. Texas Republicans, meanwhile, try to keep their thoughts on more pleasant histories.