Tribpedia: 2012 Elections

In the election cycles that follow political redistricting — including the one in 2012 — everybody in the state's congressional delegation and the Legislature and on the State Board of Education is on the ballot. Some incumbents find themselves in new districts or paired with other incumbents. Turnover of the voluntary and involuntary kinds is high after new maps are drawn.

That's not the only reason for volatility in '12: U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison isn't seeking reelection, creating an opening at the top of the ballot that is luring statewide officeholders out of their own posts, opening new opportunities for candidates.

Put simply, there's a lot of change coming: election news, explorations and candidacies, fundraising, redistricting lawsuits and everything else through the March primaries, the May primary runoffs, the political conventions and the November general elections.

Because it grew faster than other states during the last decade, Texas gets four new seats in Congress, and the lines for the other 32 districts were redrawn to make room for those and to make sure that each of the districts has the same population.

The numbers in the state Legislature remain the same — 31 senators and 150 representatives — but those districts were also redrawn to account for population changes and to even up the sizes of each district. The same goes for the 15 spots on the State Board of Education.

All four of those new maps have been challenged in the courts. The resulting options range from no changes at all to wholesale redrawing of maps to delayed candidate filings.

Assuming everything holds, candidates have to file for office in Texas between November 12 and December 12 of this year to run in the primaries next March 6, primary runoffs on May 22 and general elections on November 6. Some parties, like the Libertarians, choose candidates in conventions later in the year, but those candidates have to meet the same filing deadlines as everyone else.

Images

Supporters arrive to the primary watch party of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst - Houston, Tuesday May 29, 2012. Stinchfield placed this billboard ad within 2 miles of Rep. Kenny Marchant's home. Dallas attorney Domingo Garcia, left, and Fort Worth state Rep. Marc Veasey, right. Texas State Rep Kelly Hancock speaks at a candidates forum held in Grand Prairie TX. Texas State Rep Todd Smith speaks at a candidates forum held in Grand Prairie TX. Kelayil P. George, a candidate the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, is interviewed in his office in Stafford Monday, March 19, 2012. Kesha Rogers,  a LaRouche candidate running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, at a LaRouche office in Houston Monday, March 19, 2012. Kesha Rogers,  a LaRouche candidate running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, at a LaRouche office in Houston Monday, March 19, 2012. Kesha Rogers,  a LaRouche candidate running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, at a LaRouche office in Houston Monday, March 19, 2012. Kesha Rogers,  a LaRouche candidate running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, at a LaRouche office in Houston Monday, March 19, 2012. Kesha Rogers,  a LaRouche candidate running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, at a LaRouche office in Houston Monday, March 19, 2012. Kesha Rogers,  a LaRouche candidate running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress District 22 once held by Tom Delay, at a LaRouche office in Houston Monday, March 19, 2012. Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams in Dallas on Oct. 3, 2011 at the construction site of the Bush Presidential Library on the SMU campus. Ron Paul in Manchester speaking to supporters after the 2012 New Hampshire primary. Gov. Rick Perry in Aiken, SC with Cam Mitchell, 5, at Ryan's Market & Deli - Jan. 11, 2012 Gov. Rick Perry announcing on Jan. 3, 2012, that he's returning to Texas to reassess his campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses. Gov. Rick Perry leaving the stage in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 2012. Gov. Rick Perry announcing on Jan. 3, 2012, that he will return to Texas to reassess his campaign after a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Gov. Rick Perry during his caucus night speech on Jan. 3, 2012, in Des Moines, Iowa. Campaign signs in a conference room at the Sheraton West Des Moines following Gov. Rick Perry's fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, 2012. Gov. Rick Perry and his wife, Anita, addressing supporters after his fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, 2012. The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012. Rick Perry hugs a campaign worker after announcing he's headed back to Texas to reassess his campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012. Rick Santorum at Valley High School in Clive, Iowa on Iowa caucus day January 3, 2012. Iowa caucus voters sign in at the Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa on January 3, 2012. The Iowa caucus ballot presented to voters at the Point of Grace Church on January 3, 2012. The Iowa caucus ballot presented to voters at the Point of Grace Church on January 3, 2012. Gov. Rick Perry waits to go on stage at the 7 Flags Events Center in Clive, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 2012. Perry placed fifth in the Iowa caucuses. Republican candidate Michele Bachmann, trailing badly in most polls, stands in front of her bus on January 3, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa Republican candidate Michele Bachmann waves to reporters from her bus after leaving the Rock the Caucus event at Valley High School in Des Moines on January 3, 2012. Mitt Romney speaking to a crowd of supporters in Des Moines on Jan. 2, 2012, the eve of the Iowa caucuses. Mitt Romney at a campaign rally at Competitive Edge Manufacturing in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 2, 2012. Mitt Romney at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 2, 2012. Republican candidate for President Rick Perry greets member of the Texas "strike force" assembled at the Sheraton West Des Moines on the day of the Iowa caucuses January 3, 2012. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Jan. 3, 2012, greeting members of the Texas "strike force" in Iowa to support Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid. Gov. Rick Perry rallying supporters in an early morning gathering of his team of Texas volunteers on Jan. 3, 2012. Gov. Rick Perry at a rally on the morning of the Jan. 3, 2012, Iowa caucuses. Rick Perry rallies the Texas strike force troops gathered at the Sheraton West Des Moines on January 3, 2012. Ron Paul makes his way onstage for a Rock the Caucus event in Des Moines, Iowa on January 3, 2012. Texan Ron Paul is surrounded by media as he leaves a Rock the Caucus event at Valley High School in Des Moines on January 3, 2012. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul leaving Valley High School after a Rock the Caucus event in Des Moines on Jan. 3, 2012, the day of the Iowa caucuses. U.S. Rep Ron Paul before going onstage at a Rock the Caucus event at a Des Moines high school on Jan. 3, 2012. Candidate Ron Paul waits to go onstage at the Rock the Caucus event on the day of the Iowa Caucuses on January 3, 2012. Ron Paul leaving the stage at a Rock the Caucus event at Valley High School in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 2012. US Senate Republican candidate Tom Leppert speaks during a debate with fellow Republican candidates in Houston, Texas November 15th, 2011 US Senate candidate Tom Leppert during a debate in Houston on November 15th, 2011 Opening of Ted Cruz commercial A screenshot of the Tommy Lee Jones for Senate website. Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011. Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces U.S. Senate candidacy at TribLive on January 27, 2011.

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