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
At Thursday's TribLive conversation, Debra Medina, a candidate for Texas comptroller in 2014, talked about her Tea Party past and the advantages of running as an outsider.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
If Debra Medina does not run for comptroller in 2014, it will be because of a lack of money, not will. The former gubernatorial candidate said grass-roots supporters can't contribute enough funds to wage a serious statewide bid. And two of the Republicans already in the running have million-dollar war chests.Full Story