Tribpedia: 2014 Statewide Elections

The 2014 statewide elections feature more open seats — posts without incumbents seeking re-election — than any Texas election since 1990. And even though presidential ballots attract bigger turnouts, a gubernatorial year with competitive races from the top to the bottom of the ballot should engender some voter interest.

As with the 2012 elections, the courts could have a role to play in 2014. Political maps approved by the Legislature have not yet cleared legal challenges; litigation delayed approval of maps and pushed the 2012 primaries from March to May.

Whenever the primaries take place, the ballots will include the statewide races (including three seats each on the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals), all 36 Texas seats in Congress, 15 of the state’s 31 Senate posts and all 150 seats in the Texas House.

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Republican Gov. Rick Perry and Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis made separate appearances before national audiences on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Perry at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Davis on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Oct. 26, 2014. Screenshot taken from Wendy Davis campaign ad that first aired on Oct. 10, 2014. The second and final gubernatorial debate between Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was held in Dallas on Tuesday. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Sept. 21, 2014. Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte speaks at the Democratic state convention in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2014. Texas gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis addresses delegates at the Black Caucus at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, June 27, 2014. Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis in a crowd of supporters at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014. Mike Collier, Democratic nominee for Texas comptroller, at the state Democratic convention in Dallas, Texas, on June, 27, 2014. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on May 25, 2014. 2014 candidate signs outside of the Travis County tax office on Feb. 27, 2014 Students walk out of the Flawn Academic Center at the University of Texas on Feb. 25, 2014 Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott and rock musician Ted Nugent at a get-out-the-vote rally in Denton, Texas on Feb. 18. 2014. Former state Rep. and current Railroad Commission candidate Wayne Christian numbers a wooden train whistle among his campaign memorabilia. YouTube screenshot of U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, currently a candidate for U.S. Senate, from a Western Center for Journalism interview on Feb. 2, 2014. YouTube screenshot of U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, currently a candidate for U.S. Senate, from a Western Center for Journalism interview on Feb. 2, 2014. YouTube screenshot of U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, currently a candidate for U.S. Senate, from a Western Center for Journalism interview on Feb. 2, 2014. Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott talked about border security, criminal justice and other issues during his "Securing Texans" address in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2014. Candidates for Lt. Gov. during TEXPAC forum. Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas, Sen. Wendy Davis along with Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor of Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte greet volunteers and supporters at a phone bank in Austin, Texas November 23rd, 2013 Senator Leticia Van de Putte announced her run for Lieutenant Governor of Texas at San Antonio College in San Antonio, TX, November 23, 2013. Senator Ken Paxton listens to a supporter following his announcement to run for Attorney General on Thursday, August 1, 2013. In full campaign mode Texas candidate for Attorney General Barry Smitherman tells the audience why he believes he'd make a good AG during a campaign stop at the Harris County Courthouse Bay Area Annex in Houston on Nov. 19, 2013. State Rep. Dan Branch, who is running for Attorney General,  speaks to the Pachyderm Club in Houston Thursday Nov. 14, 2013. State Rep. Dan Branch, who is running for Attorney General,  speaks to the Pachyderm Club in Houston Thursday Nov. 14, 2013. State Rep. Dan Branch, who is running for Attorney General,  speaks to the Pachyderm Club in Houston Thursday Nov. 14, 2013. State Rep. Dan Branch, who is running for Attorney General,  speaks to the Pachyderm Club in Houston Thursday Nov. 14, 2013. Wendy Davis speaks with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro before he endorses her as candidate for governor at Rackspace Hosting in San Antonio, Oct. 7, 2013. YouTube video still from David Dewhurst: Listening Leader political ad. Screenshot of Smitherman for Attorney General ad (YouTube) Senator Ken Paxton speaks to supporters in Plano on Thursday, August 1, 2013, to announcement his campaign for Attorney General. Senator Ken Paxton speaks to supporters in Plano on Thursday, August 1, 2013, to announcement his campaign for Attorney General. Twenty six-year old Greg Abbott wearing a back brace at a Houston rehabilitation center after being paralyzed by a falling tree while jogging in 1984. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the state Senate during the abortion debate on July 13, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, r, speaks to the Capitol press on pending Senate votes on the abortion bill as Rick Santorum and other House members listen on July 11, 2013. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, at an abortion rights rally on July 9, 2013. Tom Pauken speaks to the media about his challenge to Greg Abbott for the Republican nomination for Texas governor on July 9, 2013. Republican Tom Pauken discusses his challenge to Attorney General Greg Abbott for the Republican nomination for Texas governor on July 9, 2013. Tom Pauken, who is running for governor, speaking to a young Republicans group in Houston on June 27, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick in the Senate chamber as political drama unfolds at the Texas Capitol in the last hour of the 83rd Texas Legislature's first special session. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, at a "Stand With Texas Women" rally at the state Capitol. Senate Parliamentarian Karina Davis, r, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at the opening of the second special session on July 1, 2013. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, listens to an explanation of the Senate rules during the second special session on July 1, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst explains the gallery rules for the second special session as Senate Parliamentarian Karina Davis listens on July 1, 2013. Sen. Wendy Davis addresses the Stand with Texas Women Rally crowd at the state Capitol the first day of the second special session. Sen. Wendy Davis addresses the Stand with Texas Women Rally crowd at the State Capitol the first day of the 2nd special session. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, in her office on June 27, 2013, with flowers from supporters after her filibuster of an abortion bill. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, says he will run to replace Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in an announcement June 27, 2013. Citing a lack of good state leadership, State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, formally announces his bid for Lt. Governor on June 27, 2013 Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, during her filibuster of an abortion bill on June 25, 2013. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, debates Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, about halfway through a filibuster of SB 5 on June 25, 2013. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, stretches while answering questions during her abortion bill filibuster on June 25, 2013. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, during her filibuster on June 25, 2013. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, begins a filibuster of SB 5 a bill that would tighten regulations on abortion providers in Texas, on the last day of the special session Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst ends the 83rd regular session an announces a special session to begin at 6:00PM on May 27, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst delivers a stack of bills to the secretary of the Senate on May 27, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaks to state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, as state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, watches on March 25, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at a charter school rally. Groundbreaking of the Vietnam Veterans monument on March 25th, 2013 include Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Rep. Wayne Smith R-Baytown, Sen. Chuy Hinojosa D-McAllen and Rep. Bill Zedler R-Arlington Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, speaks during groundbreaking ceremony of the Vietnam Veterans monument on Capitol grounds. March 25th, 2013 State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas,l, and State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, shake hands upon convening the Joint Committee on Higher Education Oversight on March 19, 2013. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at TribLive in Austin, TX, Jan 24, 2013 Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson speaking at the Guns Across America Rally at the Capital on Jan. 19, 2013. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples visits the Senate on Jan. 8, 2013, the opening day of the 83rd legislative session. State Sen. Dan Patrick (Right), R-Houston, listens to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during the 83rd legislative session on Jan. 9, 2013. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on opening day of 83rd Legislative Session, Jan. 8, 2013 Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson discusses Texas historical records that document early immigrants like Davy Crockett and Stephen F. Austin. Senator Wendy Davis goes to Haranbee Festival in Fort Worth to encourage voters, after sending out her volunteers for Walk for Wendy, on October 6, 2012. Moderator Morgan Smith leads a discussion about standardized testing and accountability with newly-appointed TEA commissioner Michael Williams, Carolyn Heinrich, Tom Pauken and Bill Hammond at The Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas on Sept. 22, 2012. Republican leader State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, frowns at a question from editor Evan Smith at TribLive on June 1, 2012. State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, at a TribLive event on June 1, 2012. Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, talks about his dust-up with Sen. John Carona at TribLive on May 10, 2012. Texas Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, ponders a question at TribLive on May 10, 2012. Sen. Wendy Davis D-Ft. Worth attends TribLive on April 19th, 2012 Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, at the "How to Pay for Public Education" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival, Sept. 24th 2011. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson on the floor of the Texas Senate in May 2011. Jerry Patterson, in a TT Interview State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth in the Senate chamber with after a press conference on May 30, 2011. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, at a Senate Education Committee meeting on June 2, 2011. Sen. Wendy Davis D-Fort Worth, wears a pink mustache in honor of Sen. Mike Jackson, who was sworn in as President Pro Tempore on May 30th, 2011 Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston wears a fake mustache in honor of Sen. Mike Jackson, who was sworn in as Senate Pro-Tempore on May 30th, 2011 State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, completes her filibuster at midnight of SB1811 on May 29, 2011. State Sen. Dan Patrick talks about forming an exploratory committee in a run for the U.S. Senate on May 27, 2011. State Sen. Dan Patrick holds a short press conference on his intentions to run for U.S. Senate on May 27, 2011. Ag. Comm. Todd Staples, together with Sen. Craig Estes R-Whichita Falls and Sen. Carlos Uresti D-San Antonio announce Texas Wildfire Relief Fund to raise funds and awareness about ongoing crisis facing first responders battling wildfires across Texas Ag Comm. Todd Staples greets Sen. Carlos Uresti D-San Antonio to announce the formation of the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund, an effort to raise funds about the ongoing wildfire crisis across the state. May 24th, 2011 State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, listens to an aide on the Senate floor on May 16, 2011. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to an aide on the Senate floor on May 16, 2011. Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples at TribLive on  May 12, 2011. State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, explains HB 1000. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples asks for increased border security at a press conference at the Capitol on March 10, 2011. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples speaks to the press about recent border security issues at the Texas Capitol on March 10, 2011 State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas Todd Staples State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaking during a Senate Committee on Education hearing on July 20, 2010.  He is the Vice Chair of the committee. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in his Austin office on May 6, 2010. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

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