Tribpedia: Texas Senate

Tribpedia

The Texas Senate is the upper chamber of the state's bicameral Legislature. It is comprised of 31 state senators and the lieutenant governor, who serves as president of the Senate.

Senators serve four-year terms and are not term limited.

The second-highest post in the Senate is the president pro-tempore, who can come from either party and is usually determined ...

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Odds Favor Kolkhorst in Race for Hegar's Seat

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst R-Brenham on House floor May 24th, 2011
Rep. Lois Kolkhorst R-Brenham on House floor May 24th, 2011

Less than a month after Election Day, some Texans are already headed back to the polls to fill the state Senate seat given up by Glenn Hegar after he was elected Comptroller of Public Accounts. Five candidates have filed for SD 18, but the race appears to be state Rep. Lois Kolkhort's to lose.

House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner
House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner

Analysis: In the Texas House, a Dose of Moderation

As the numbers mount in favor of House Speaker Joe Straus' reelection, the establishment wing of the Republican Party in Texas appears to be prevailing over activists who insist the state is more conservative than its Legislature. To succeed against Straus, the insurgents would have to collect some votes from the group they deplore the most: Democrats.

Glenn Hegar, who was elected state comptroller in November 2014, is shown at the State Republican Convention on June 6, 2014.
Glenn Hegar, who was elected state comptroller in November 2014, is shown at the State Republican Convention on June 6, 2014.

Hegar Resigns Senate Seat; Dec. 6 Special Election Set

State Sen. Glenn Hegar sent a letter to Gov. Rick Perry Friday resigning his Senate seat as of Dec. 5. The Katy Republican will be sworn in as comptroller in January. A Dec. 6 special election for his seat was announced later Friday.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who was elected Texas governor, waves to supporters after his victory speech in Austin on Nov. 4, 2014.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, who was elected Texas governor, waves to supporters after his victory speech in Austin on Nov. 4, 2014.

Analysis: Blue Hopes Drowned by a Sea of Red

Texas voters reasserted themselves in the face of ballyhooed Democratic voter turnout efforts: This remains — emphatically — a Republican state. The GOP swept the statewide executive and judicial offices, as it has in every election since 1994, and gained one seat in the state Senate and three in the state House. 

State Sen. Dan Patrick celebrates his election as the next lieutenant governor of Texas in Houston on November 4th, 2014.
State Sen. Dan Patrick celebrates his election as the next lieutenant governor of Texas in Houston on November 4th, 2014.

Patrick Wins Big in Bid for Lieutenant Governor

Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick cruised to a landslide victory Tuesday night in the race for lieutenant governor, easily defeating Democratic opponent, Leticia Van de PutteFor more election results, see our Election Scoreboard.

 

 

Travis County residents line up to vote at Austin's Highland Mall on Nov. 4, 2014.
Travis County residents line up to vote at Austin's Highland Mall on Nov. 4, 2014.

Liveblog: 2014 General Election Results

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Throughout the night, our liveblog will keep you updated on the results of general election battles statewide, from the first early voting totals through the last ballots counted, from local legislative races to the governor's race.

 

 

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.

Van de Putte's Bus Tour Hits Republican Stronghold

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is reaching out to voters in conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas — a nod to Democrats’ dependence on increasing voter turnout in statewide races.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio (center) on the House floor on Feb. 8, 2011.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio (center) on the House floor on Feb. 8, 2011.

For Van de Putte, Questions About Private, Public Work

As Sen. Leticia Van de Putte reaches for one of the most powerful jobs in Texas, the blurred lines between her private work and public role are giving rise to familiar questions in a part-time Legislature, where low pay and lax disclosure laws have fostered the perception of conflicts of interest.

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. 

Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.
Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.

Education Commissioner: "The System Needs to Catch Up"

UPDATED: Asked why the state had delayed a transition away from lower passing standards on state exams, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told state lawmakers Tuesday that classroom instruction had failed to meet the rigor demanded by the new tests. 

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.
Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.

Senators Discuss Funding of National Guard Deployment

At a state Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, senators debated the merits and tactical strategies of Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send Texas National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

State Reps. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, and Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, faced off for the vacant Senate District 4 seat in a special election runoff Tuesday.
State Reps. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, and Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, faced off for the vacant Senate District 4 seat in a special election runoff Tuesday.

Creighton Easily Wins Special State Senate Race

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, has defeated state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, in a low-turnout special election runoff for the Houston-area state Senate seat vacated by Tommy WilliamsBoth contenders in the heavily conservative Senate District 4 drew Tea Party backing.

Sen. Charles Schwertner R-Georgetown speaks about health care in Texas at February 27th TribLive
Sen. Charles Schwertner R-Georgetown speaks about health care in Texas at February 27th TribLive

Schwertner to Lead Health and Human Services Committee

After appointing Republican state Sen. Jane Nelson to chair the Senate Finance Committee, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has picked state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, to replace her as the head of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.
House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.

Analysis: A Speaker Who May Have Less of a Say

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, enters the next legislative session as a clear favorite for re-election, but the issues raised in the conservative wave in this year's elections, along with the influence of a fresh batch of new Republican state senators, could dominate the Legislature's calendar.

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.
State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.

Special Election to Fill Empty Senate Seat

With all of the precincts counted, Brandon Creighton and Steve Toth finished first and second and appear headed for a runoff in the contest to succeed Tommy Williams in the Texas Senate. 

 

Tea Party candidate Konni Burton and former state Rep. Mark Shelton are vying to represent Senate District 10 in a Republican runoff election.
Tea Party candidate Konni Burton and former state Rep. Mark Shelton are vying to represent Senate District 10 in a Republican runoff election.

Burton, Shelton Face Off in Primary Runoff Battle

Former state Rep. Mark Shelton and Tea Party favorite Konni Burton are vying in a Republican runoff election for the state Senate seat left open by Wendy Davis. It's a swing district that both political parties are paying close attention to.

Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, l, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeal for order as the Senate chamber erupted into chaos just before midnight June 25, 2013.
Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, l, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeal for order as the Senate chamber erupted into chaos just before midnight June 25, 2013.

Texas GOP Gets a Hand From Washington Democrats

Some Texas Republicans would like to change a rule that allows Democrats to block bills favored by the majority of the state Senate. They have a new ally, at least on the idea: Democrats in the U.S. Senate who are changing their rules to dilute the power of the Republican minority that is blocking their actions.

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.
Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.

In the Senate, an Expected Exit and a Surprising One

Texas Weekly

Announcements from state Sens. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, increased the number of senators who won't be back in 2015. Those announcements bring the certain turnover in the 31-member body to four, and the possible turnover to seven.