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Democratic members of the Texas House and Texas Senate gather for a joint press event to update Texans on their work in Washington, DC to advocate for federal voting rights protections at Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

2021 Texas politics in photos: An insurrection, legislative battles and emerging campaigns

Texas politics in 2021 were marked by a violent insurrection at the nation’s Capitol and state legislative fights over abortion, voting rights and redistricting. Our photojournalists were there every step of the way.

Pro-Trump protesters storm the U.S. Capitol to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump supporters enter the Capitol during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. The House and Senate's joint session was sent to recess after the breach as it convened to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election.
Pro-Trump rioters protested and stormed into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
Pro-Trump protesters rally at the Texas State Capitol building on Jan 6, 2021.
Pro-trump protestors gather at the Texas State Capitol to protest the certification of the 2020 election results. Jan 6, 2021.
Dade Phelan is sworn in as speaker of the Texas House on the opening day of the 2021 Legislature on Jan. 12, 2021.
Newly-elected House Speaker Dade Phelan greets Gov. Greg Abbott before speaking to the Texas House during opening ceremonies as the 2021 Texas Legislature gets down to work in Austin on Jan. 12, 2021.
State Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton, and others say the Pledge of Allegiance as the 2021 Legislative Session opens in Austin on Jan. 12, 2021.
State GOP Chairman, Allen West, poses for a photo with members of a group describing themselves as the ‘Texas Militia’ at the North Entrance to the capitol on Jan 12, 2021.
Snow covered the Texas Capitol grounds during the winter storm on Feb. 16, 2021.
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference regarding Texas’ emergency response to an unprecedented winter storm gripping Texas on Feb 13, 2021.
The silhouette of a young unaccompanied migrant boy as he looks through the fence during the one hour the kids get to play outside at the CBP migrant processing center in El Paso on March 25, 2021, in El Paso.
Governor Greg Abbott addresses the media about border security at a press conference at Anzalduas Park. Mission, TX. March 9, 2021.
From left: Members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, including Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP, Anthony Collier, student body president at the University of Texas School of Law, and state Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, wait during a press event concerning the University of Texas' "Eyes of Texas" at the state capitol on March 29, 2021.
Youth activists deploy over 200,000 rose petals from the capitol rotunda to protest against what they describe as “Extremist Voter Suppression Legislation” currently making it’s way through the elections committee in the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Tori Baltierra of the singing group “Tiara Girls” sings the old hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ while rose petals rain down around her in a protest against voter suppression at the Texas State Capitol on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Ali Cross, of the Austin Cheer squad, waves a Trans flag while her squad mates hold her up on the steps of the state capitol at a rally against Anti-Trans legislation on April 28, 2021.
Josh Upchurch, Shelby Martin and Hailee Roberts campaign for Proposition A at the corner of Quaker Ave. and 82nd Street on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Lubbock, Texas.
A visitor of the House gallery listens to legislators speak during a debate on an abortion bill being considered on the House floor on May 5, 2021.
Rep. Rafael M. Anchia, D-Dallas, speaks with his colleague Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood on the house floor on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, is surrounded by fellow Democrats after testifying against a proposed anti-abortion bill on the House Floor on May 5, 2021.
Protesters hold signs in oppostion of SB 7 while participating in a rally at the state capitol on May 8, 2021.  Critics of the bill claim that the bill suppresses voting rights by limiting and chaning rules of state voting procedure.
Gov. Abbott speaks with lawmakers on the house floor during the legislative session on the house floor on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Hundreds of people gathered for the Austin Rally for Palestine at the State Capitol in Austin on May 23, 2021.
Pro-choice demonstrators against Senate Bill 8 were met with counter-protestors outside the Texas Capitol on May 29, 2021.
State Rep. Jessica González, D-Dallas, speaks at a press conference at Mt. Zion Baptist Church near the state Capitol in Austin after Democrats broke quorum in opposition to Senate Bill 7, a sweeping GOP voting bill. May 30, 2021.
At least 50 House Democrats in Texas fled the state to Dulles International Airport potentially stopping Republicans to take up new voting restrictions and other GOP priorities on July 12, 2021.
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Democratic members of the Texas House and Senate gather for a joint press event to update Texans on their work in Washington, D.C., to advocate for federal voting rights protections at the Washington Plaza Hotel on July 14, 2021.
House members praised House Speaker Dade Phelan on Sine Die. May 31, 2021.
Legislators watch as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott share updates on their plan for Texas to build its own border wall at a press conference at the Texas Capitol on June 16, 2021.
Texas Land Commissioner George P Bush speaks to reporters at an event inside Buford's Bar in Austin, TX on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. George P Bush announced his candidacy for Texas Attorney General, challenging Ken Paxton who Bush says is corrupt. George P Bush has a supporter in former President Donald Trump which may help boost his campaign among Texas republicans.
Former Democratic Presidential Candidate, Beto O’Rourke, speaks at the ‘For the People Rally,’ a rally in support of the expansion of voting rights, at the south steps of the Capitol  on Sunday, June 20, 2021.
People hold Campaign signs at the ‘For the People’ voting rights rally on the south steps of the Texas Capitol on Sunday June 20, 2021.
Bubba Saulsbury takes a selfie at the border wall tour on June 30, 2021, where former President Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott discussed Biden’s changes to Trump-era immigration policies.
State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, speaks at a press conference on opening day of the 87th legislative special session at the Texas Capitol on July 8, 2021.
Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco, holds a sign that reads, “Here we are still on the job for the people,” on the House floor on July 14, 2021.
Rep. Jacey Jetton, R-Richmond, sits on the House floor on July 14, 2021.
Rep. Lacey Hull, R-Houston, waits with other House Republicans before a briefing on 13th check legislation at the Texas Capitol on July 14, 2021.
From left: Rep. Royce West, D-Dallas, walks with Rep. John Whitmire, D-Houston, and Texas clergy at a Prayer and Justice march held at the Texas Capitol on July 15, 2021.
Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson speaks as other House members console her at a joint press conference with the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and the Texas Legislature Democrats in Alexandria, Va. on July 16, 2021.
State Rep. Garnet Coleman is in Texas recovering from a severe illness while his Democratic colleagues are in Washington, D.C.
Rep. John Whitmire, D-Houston, puts a mask on at a press conference held by members of the Senate Democratic Caucus regarding Democrats breaking quorum and voting legislature at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2021.
The Texas House Democrats breaking quorum in the nation’s capital host a press conference alongside Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and grassroots organizers at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC on Friday, August 6, 2021. Friday is both the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, and the last day of the special session of the Texas Legislature. At the event, Texas House Democrats address their victory in killing the Texas Republicans’ anti-voter measures back home, and their successes in helping to move federal voter protection legislation.
Susan Wright hugs Tarrant County district clerk Thomas Wilder at Susan Wright’s election night watch party in Arlington, TX on July 27, 2021. Susan Wright lost against Jake Ellzey, who will replace late U.S. Representative Ron Wright, Susan Wright’s husband.
U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher checkers her notebook before a call in her office in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21, 2021.
Thousands of participants march and with signs during the 2021 Women’s March on Texas in downtown Houston on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.
Protestors stood at the front steps of the Capitol in opposition to SB 8 on Oct. 2, 2021.
People hold signs and clap during the Womenís March ATX at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Thousands of people attended the rally in support of womenís reproductive health and access to safe abortions.
Hyunja Norman poses for a portrait at the Korean Community Center in Spring Branch on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Norman passionately seeks representation for the Korean community in Houston by voting, education and raising awareness. She believes, “ if we work here, we can do anything or become someone to make American better for all Americans.”
John Scott speaks to a reporter during an interview inside his office at the Texas State Capitol on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 in Austin, TX. Scott was appointed last week by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his appointment has been criticized by some after Scott's role in representing the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results. Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune
A map of Tarrant County shows the voting age population of Hispanics.
Frank Ramirez, Democratic nominee for House District 118, at an event at campaign headquarters on Oct. 31, 2021.
John Lujan speaks to people at his watch party on Nov. 2, 2021. Lujan won the election for State representative of district 118.
Anti-abortion supporters clash with pro-choice activists outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 1, 2021. Today, the Supreme Court will hear cases regarding abortion in Texas.
Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes, author of the bill, speaks to a television news crew outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 1, 2021. Today, the Supreme Court will hear cases regarding abortion in Texas.
People dressed as Handmaids stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 1, 2021.
Supporters of democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke attend a rally in downtown McAllen on Nov. 17, 2021.
The pavilion of the American Airlines Center in Dallas is decorated with Trump flags as “The History Tour” with Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly takes place on Dec. 19, 2021.

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