When Scott Fisher announced he was challenging state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, the Tea Party firebrand told him to bring it on. But Stickland's been the one on his heels. Fisher has raised questions about the incumbent's integrity following the discovery of comments Stickland made online about drugs and rape years before he took office.Full Story
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott warned the Dallas County sheriff on Monday that her new and softer approach to dealing with undocumented immigrants who commit crimes “will no longer be tolerated in Texas.” Abbott stopped short of warning of a special session, but his proposed solutions would require legislators to be in session.Full Story
Here's video of our "Really, How Conservative Was the 84th Session?" panel from Oct. 17 at The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival. Panelists included State Sens. Paul Bettencourt and Konni Burton and state Reps. Stephanie Klick, Matt Rinaldi and Jonathan Stickland.Full Story
This week on The Ticket: Jay Root and Ben Philpott take a look at how the debate over immigration is playing out in the Republican presidential primary, with perspective from Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson. And they discuss how Jeb Bush is going out on an immigration limb with remarks before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.Full Story
It was a mostly new cast of characters in the Texas Senate, a chamber historically ruled by seniority, that flexed its political muscle to stop a statewide texting-while-driving ban this year.Full Story
For this week's playlist of the news, we’re using our reporters' own predictions for 2015. Kicking things off: “The Best Is Yet To Come,” by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, backed up by the Count Basie Orchestra.Full Story
Requiring voters to show a photo ID has proved controversial in the federal courts, but the law is popular with Texas voters, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Texas voters favor it by a 3-to-1 margin, even though 38 percent say it decreases voter turnout.Full Story
While the federal and state governments squabble over what to do about immigrant children on the Texas-Mexico border, Gov. Rick Perry is scoring political points on an issue of high importance to Republican voters. His positions on related issues helped sink his first run for president in 2011.Full Story
John Cornyn's campaign is actively seeking to reach diverse communities that haven’t been traditional Republican supporters, from Indian-Americans to Latinos in the border colonias. And his team is trying to use Tea Party-style strategies to do it. Democrats have two words for them: good luck.
The president and Congress are remarkably unpopular in Texas, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Republican officeholders and candidates are held in highest esteem by those voters right now. And voters are far more bullish on the direction of the state compared with the nation.
In 1961, a Wichita Falls political science professor became the first Texas Republican to win a statewide seat since Reconstruction. It took another 37 years for the party to sweep the other major offices. That history provides insight into the challenges now facing Democrats, and the reasons Republicans are taking the current threat to their winning streak seriously.Full Story
Texas Democrats believe wins by Tea Party candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary runoffs could turn off swing voters in November. But if Democrats can't close the deal — and they haven't for two decades — those Republicans will be running Texas.Full Story
In three statewide Republican runoff races, candidates who have aligned themselves to the right of their opponents are poised to capture their party's nomination despite fielding significant blows from their opponents, including forays into mental health records three decades old and a potentially disqualifying violation of state securities law.Full Story
As the state deals with drought and population growth, many top Republican politicians in Texas have called for billions of dollars in spending for new water projects. A number of conservative activists worry that Republicans aren't focusing on principles like small government, private property rights and local control.Full Story
Tarrant County is both the largest reliably Republican county in Texas and ground zero for Democrats’ efforts to turn the state blue. While Tea Party conservatives are gaining strength in the county's northeast region, Fort Worth Democrats say their voters are energized by state Sen. Wendy Davis's campaign for governor.Full Story