2012 Primaries

Politics
4:33 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Republican Candidates for Senate Mostly Agree at Forum

Former Dallas mayor and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Leppert makes a point while David Dewhurst, left, and Glenn Addision, right, listen during a TPPF candidate debate on January 12, 2012.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

The federal government — and the Obama administration in particular — were the targets of four Republicans running for the U.S. Senate at a business group's candidate forum this afternoon.

Ted CruzDavid DewhurstCraig Jamesand Tom Leppert talked for about an hour at a Texas Association of Business conference in Austin. They agreed on several points during the forum.

If you had just touched down in Texas, you might have thought the candidates were running for president, or that President Obama had moved to Texas to run for Senate.

Cruz said the election is about two questions: "Will the next senator from the state of Texas be a strong conservative? And No. 2, will the next senator from the state of Texas be a fighter?"

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2012 Presidential Election
8:46 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Paul Maintains Focus on Smaller Caucus States

Ron Paul addresses supporters at a recent campaign stop.
Photo by Gage Skidmore, Texas Tribune

Rather than invest millions of dollars in a Florida campaign, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has focused on states farther down the Republican presidential calendar. So his fourth-place finish in Tuesday’s Sunshine State primary was probably no surprise.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:29 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Perry Won't Refund Security Costs for Presidential Bid

Gov. Perry has brushed off calls to reimburse security expenses arising from his presidential run..
Photo by KUT News

Texas Democrats calling on Gov. Rick Perry to repay the taxpayer-funded security costs associated with his run for president shouldn't hold their breath. A Perry spokeswoman said Monday that it wasn't the governor's decision to have a security detail out on the campaign trail — it was the Department of Public Safety's. And she said "not a dime" of Perry's own travel expenses were paid by taxpayers. 

"The Department of Public Safety has a policy of providing security for governors and their families everywhere they travel, as they have back several administrations," said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed. "These policies are determined by DPS and not the governor’s office. It’s unfortunate that we live in a day and age where security is an issue."

Nashed's response followed a letter that state Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, the leader of the House Democrats, sent to the governor's office Monday, asking him to repay the $2.6 million the state spent on his security detail between August, when Perry entered the GOP presidential race, and last week, when he dropped out days before the South Carolina primary.

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2012 Presidential Election
9:01 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Paul Yet to Connect With Mainstream Republicans

Republican candidate Ron Paul speaks to an overflow crowd at the Holiday Inn in Rock Hill, S.C. on January 17, 2012.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Ron Paul can’t win the Republican nomination for president unless the mainstream of the GOP changes direction.

The Texas congressman is not going to come to them, and if you’re wagering that he will prevail, you’re betting that Republican voters will collectively slap their foreheads, drop what they’ve done for years and throw in with someone who has made his public career out of telling them they’re wrong about almost everything.

Paul is popular, smart, experienced and, so far, able to successfully duck anti-Semitic and racist writings that appeared in newsletters under his name in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s done well in the primaries, raised money and made his points.

He just can’t get voters outside of his core group to take him seriously.

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2012 Presidential Election
12:50 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Perry Exits, And So Does His Once-Hefty War Chest

Image by Todd Wiseman, Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry took his fundraising muscle with him Thursday when he bowed out of the Republican presidential race. His exit freed not only what was left in his federal campaign coffers, but also the support of the political action committee that had spent $3.8 million in Perry’s favor.

The next filing deadline for federal campaign committees is Jan. 31, making it difficult to know how much money Perry’s campaign has left. But it does not appear to be very much.

“We have spent the bulk of our funds,” said Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Perry. “So South Carolina was a final flag in the ground."

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2012 Presidential Election
11:53 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Perry Sees 'No Viable Path Forward': The Fall Of A Once Promising Front-Runner

Perry prepares to speak with voters attending the West Des Moines caucus in Iowa on Jan. 3.
Jonathan Gibby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:40 pm

Like the saying goes in his home state, everything about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign was big.

From the start of his candidacy, when he garnered instant front-runner status in some polls, to his embarrassing debate performances and his slide to the back of the pack, Perry's bid for the Republican nomination seemed outsized. So, too, were the expectations.

On Thursday, Perry left the GOP race and strongly endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, citing his "heart of a conservative reformer."

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Texas
11:56 am
Tue January 17, 2012

John Cornyn Predicts Texas Primaries Will Be Delayed Again

Sen. John Cornyn predicts Texas primaries will be pushed past their current April date.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

Sen. John Cornyn suggested yesterday that Texas many not be ready to hold its primaries on April 3.

While the political prognostication isn’t terribly surprising, considering the twists and turns the primary calendar has taken, it does have people wondering when elections will be held in Texas.

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Opinion
10:23 am
Fri January 13, 2012

The Nation: Paul Won't Be A Third Party Candidate

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 8:06 am

Ben Adler is a blogger for The Nation.

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2012 Presidential Election
1:47 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

On the Road: Downtime with an Elf

On board the Perry bus tour through Iowa, reporters spend time with an "Elf." Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News.

The days on the Rick Perry bus tour are packed for the candidate – and for the press corps packed on the bus behind him.

After each event, reporters jump back on their bus and try to write, edit video and audio, and post updates, blogs and reports to the web. Then it’s back off the bus for another event. The cycle repeats itself about four or five times a day.

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Politics
11:26 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Political Parties Agree to April 3 Primaries

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman

Texas Democrats and Republicans agreed to hold unified primary elections on April 3, avoiding the costs and confusion brought on by litigation over new political maps for congressional and legislative districts.

The agreement moves all of the March 6 primaries — including the one for president — to the first Thursday in April. Texas voters would be left out of the Super Tuesday contests in early March.

The plan still needs approval from a panel of three federal judges in San Antonio, and the agreement assumes that the courts will have completed work on the maps in time to hold elections in April.

Under the agreement:

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