Governor's Race

With Rick Perry retiring in 2014 after an unprecedented 14 years as Texas Governor, all eyes are on the race for Texas’ top elected official.

Gov. Perry hopes to pass the baton to Republican Greg Abbott, Attorney General for the state of Texas. Abbott has used his perch to aggressively challenge the Obama Administration on issues including Texas’ Voter ID laws and environmental regulations. Prior to that role, Abbott served as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court.

For Texas Democrats, not since Ann Richards has the star of a party official risen as fast or conspicuously as that of state Sen. Wendy Davis. Davis is considering either running for reelection  to her Fort Worth Senate seat, or making a run for the Governor's office. Democrats across the state have gotten excited about a possible run at the top of the 2014 ticket, especially since the minority party doesn't have any candidates signed up to run for statewide office so far.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to the electoral college, Texas is like most states: winner-take-all (only two states, Nebraska and Maine, aren't). So we're red and, if Democrats' dreams came true, we'd someday be blue.

Wendy Davis, a former gubernatorial candidate and former state senator from Dallas-Fort Worth, says she sees a possibility of a change in hue.

 


Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

If Democrats hope to block the Republican agenda in the executive and legislative branches, they may need an old tool of the Senate – the filibuster. It allows dissenting senators to block bills and nominees backed by the majority. Or, as Republican Rep. Bill Flores of Texas explained on the Standard yesterday:

"It prevents the Senate from ... its Constitutional responsibilities. And so what I say is, majority leader Mitch McConnell, if he's the majority leader, needs to get rid of the filibuster. We're going to need to get rid of it in order to get the Supreme Court appointees. We're going to need it to pass the appropriations bills we want.”

 


Tamir Kalifa/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling.

Pu Ying-Huang for KUT News

Over the next four months, Texas officials will be offloading programs aimed at helping newly arrived refugees. Last week, the state announced it was leaving the federal refugee resettlement program after four decades in the program.


Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

The state of Texas is threatening to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, if the feds don't accept the state's proposal for continuing the program in the next fiscal year. 

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In 2012, Greg Abbott caused a stir when he issued this warning to international election observers: Don’t set foot inside Texas polling places.

Robert Hart / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott wants the targeted killing of a police officer to be deemed a hate crime in Texas and urged lawmakers to send him such a bill to sign during next year's legislative session. Abbott announced Monday his plan to lobby for adding his Police Protection Act to Texas law. 

Robert Hart / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Gov. Greg Abbott may not attend the Republican National Convention after suffering severe burns during a family vacation in Wyoming.

Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

After years of Texas trying to lure businesses away from other states, New York has struck back — with an ad that paints the Lone Star State as unwelcoming and discriminatory to the LGBT community.

The two-minute ad released by New York’s chief economic development agency highlights the Empire State’s principles of inclusion and equality, claiming these characteristics make it welcoming for all businesses.

Beth Cortez-Neavel/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that part of a 2013 Texas law restricting abortion procedures is "unconstitutional."

House Bill 2 required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Each clinic also had to meet the standards of hospital surgical facilities. The law also banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the abortion pill misoprostol.

The law garnered national attention during former Sen. Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster in June 2013. The ensuing court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, asked whether these new admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements on abortion providers within the state posed an “undue burden” on women.

 


Flickr/Michael Vadon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the state's attorney general, he worked on a lawsuit against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump – then a Republican businessman entering the political sphere on another bid for the highest office in America.

It was 2012 and the top law enforcement official in the state was overseeing a consumer protection team building a suit against Trump University, which had bilked Texas taxpayers out of $2.6 million.

The consumer protection team built a $5.4 million dollar case against Trump, but Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News says the lawsuit was never filed.

 


Bob Daemmerich/Texas Tribune

Long before Trump University fell in the crosshairs of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, one of Donald Trump's fellow Republicans drew a bead on the now-defunct school: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Callie Richmond and Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Will public schools really lose federal education funding if they refuse to comply with a new Obama administration directive regarding transgender students?

That's the basic query posed by top lawyers from Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia in a letter sent Tuesday to the U.S. Justice and Education departments seeking clarification on the directive, which advises the nation's public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday the fight is not finished when it comes to regulations in Austin that have driven ride-hailing companies out of the state capital. 

"The issue's not over," Abbott said in an interview on CNBC. "Republicans in the Texas Legislature have already raised proposals coming up in the next session to override the Austin vote." 

From the Texas Tribune: Charles Smith, a longtime ally of Gov. Greg Abbott, will be the next executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the governor announced Tuesday.

Smith, the chief deputy executive commissioner at the massive agency, will start his new position on June 1.

Aaron Jacobs/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Remember the Alamo? How could we forget. Remember Denton? That's a different sort of battle.

Jamie Lovegrove/Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott repudiated President Barack Obama’s recent criticisms of the state’s voter laws on Monday, arguing that Texas must remain vigilant against voter fraud.


Image via Twitter/GregAbbott_TX

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott is on his third official international trip since being sworn in last January. Yesterday in Jerusalem, the Governor met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week Abbott said the purpose of the upcoming meeting was to promote business ties abroad.

However, since news broke over the weekend of the U.S. prisoner swap and an end to sanctions against Iran, Monday's meeting seemed more like a political trip. That’s left some scratching their heads, and others nodding in approval.

 


Chris Maddaloni/ The Texas Tribune

In a fresh — but long shot — assertion of states’ rights, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday called for a convention of U.S. states to pass nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, measures meant to limit the powers of the federal government.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Federal agents have arrested a 24-year-old Iraqi man who immigrated to Houston four years ago and charged him as a terror suspect allegedly aligned with the Islamic State, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Houston.

In a three-count indictment, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, a Palestinian born in Iraq, was charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

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