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Home | Tag Archives: vote2018

Tag Archives: vote2018

Analysis: A Viewer’s Guide to the 2018 Texas Elections

Labor Day doesn’t mark the start of the political season; political season never seems to stop. But it is typical turning point — a date when campaigns that have been building organizations and grubbing for campaign money redirect their attention to the voters who’ll decide the winners and losers.

Texans will be casting ballots in the 2018 general election in less than eight weeks, when early voting begins on October 22. The names are set. Here are some questions these elections should answer.

Is Texas still red, and how red is it?

Nobody likes being taken for granted, although winners take it better than losers. Texas isn’t at play in national elections — except as a fundraising opportunity — because the assumptions about how it will vote are so certain. Democrats haven’t won a statewide race since 1994. Libertarians and other third parties have never prevailed. It’s red. It’s in the bag. Move on to the next swing state.

A purple Texas will emerge eventually, according to folk wisdom. There was a time when Republicans could barely ask strangers for directions in Texas: Look at them now.

Republicans still have the upper hand, by most accounts. But Democrats are enthusiastic — particular about the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Beto O’Rourke, Republican Ted Cruz and Libertarian Neal Dikeman (never ignore a third-party candidate in a race that might be close).

If Texas remains red, reset your alarm clock for two years. If a Democrat slips by in a statewide race or gets close enough to scare the majority party, you’ll start to see outsiders — with money — take an interest in Texas politics again.

Partisan politics is noisier than it’s been in recent cycles, but is it really different?

It’s different in at least one way: The president is using most of the political oxygen. That’s good for Republicans in general — Texas voters, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, are firmly behind Donald Trump. But it’s hard on individual candidates across the spectrum who are struggling to grab the attention of voters who are riveted on the activities of the president to notice.

What’s most likely to change in Texas because of these elections?

The balance of power between the governor, the Texas Senate and the Texas House. During the last two sessions, House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were often at odds, and Gov. Greg Abbott took the Senate’s side in many high-profile fights. The Republican majority in the Texas Capitol got a lot done in spite of their differences, but some legislation dear to one side or the other stalled. The elections could change the mixes of Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature, forcing some new political calibrations from the leaders — or it could cement the differences now in place.

What’s going to happen in the House?

The odds are better for Democratic pickups than for Republican pickups in the elections, and the 150 state representatives who take their oaths of office in January will quickly follow by electing a new speaker to replace Straus, who decided not to seek reelection. The results of that contest for speaker — which is already well underway — will set the tone in the lower chamber and in the relationships that institution has with the Senate and the governor. Among other things, it will provide a quick read on whether the House wants to go along to get along or wants to keep its independence.

In the Senate?

With a Republican supermajority in place, Patrick has maintained a strong grip on the Senate. A trio of races will determine whether he’ll remain on solid ground in the next session: a special election in a huge Texas-Mexico border district next month, a seat now held by the Democrats; and two incumbent Republicans in competitive districts in Dallas and Tarrant counties. Republicans have 20 Senate seats now and need 19 to maintain a reliable supermajority. They’d rather have 20, or even 21.

In the congressional delegation?

The question, really, is whether Texas will still have 27 Republicans and 11 Democrats in its delegation when Congress convenes in Washington in January. Cruz is under siege, and three Republican incumbents in the U.S. House are running in districts where the Republican president lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016. There are skirmishes in a handful of other Republican-held districts where the numbers hold more hope for the incumbents, but where Democrats think they smell opportunity.

In the statewide offices?

Gov. Greg Abbott leads the state ballot for the Republicans. He’s been elected statewide to the Texas Supreme Court, to the attorney general’s office and to the governor’s office. Former Dallas County Lupe Valdez, his Democratic challenger — has been elected four times — but only in Dallas County. Mark Tippetts, a Libertarian, is the only other candidate.

Here’s the thing with statewide races: The fortunes of candidates down the ballot, from lieutenant governor to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, depend on the performance of their parties’ candidates at the top of the ballot. If the frontrunners have a good day, they have a good day. If not, not. And only when it’s a mixed or close result at the top — it’s been a while since Texans have seen one of those — do their own efforts truly make a difference.

Recent polls show a close race for Senate and a potential blowout in the governor’s race. Here’s the question for the candidates downstream: Which race will have the most influence?

Is that U.S. Senate race for real?

Here’s what is real about it: It’s got your attention. It’s got national attention, from media, from politicos, from the people who want Texas to remain the big red foundation stone of Republican politics in presidential races to the people who’d like to bust that boulder into pebbles. It’s the only race in Texas that — for the moment — includes candidates who can be named in conversations about future national politics without snickers. It’s the race that will guide future decisions about whether it’s possible to run a competitive race in a general election in Texas and whether it’s even worth trying — whether it’s worthwhile for major Democratic efforts, and whether Republicans can continue to rely on the wealth of conservative sentiment here without investing a lot of money or resources to nurture it.

Trump.

Don’t forget that the most important figure in the election isn’t even on the ballot. His standing, like any president’s standing in a midterm election, is on the line. And the results will be read by many as a referendum on what Donald Trump has done since his own election two years ago.

Author –  ROSS RAMSEY – The Texas Tribune

Who’s on the General Election Ballot in Texas on November 6?

Texas will hold its general election for 2018 on November 6.

Below are the Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians who will be on the ballot in statewide, congressional and legislative offices and the State Board of Education. (In a handful of races, an independent candidate also garnered the necessary signatures to earn a spot on the ballot.)

Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election begins on October 22 and ends on November 2.

U.S. Senate

Statewide

Candidates
D Beto O’Rourke
L Neal Dikeman
R Ted CruzIncumbent

Governor

Statewide

Candidates
D Lupe Valdez
L Mark Tippetts
R Greg AbbottIncumbent

Lieutenant Governor

Statewide

Candidates
D Mike Collier
L Kerry McKennon
R Dan PatrickIncumbent

Attorney General

Statewide

Candidates
D Justin Nelson
L Michael Ray Harris
R Ken PaxtonIncumbent

Comptroller

Statewide

Candidates
D Joi Chevalier
L Ben Sanders
R Glenn HegarIncumbent

Land Commissioner

Statewide

Candidates
D Miguel Suazo
L Matt Piña
R George P. BushIncumbent

Agriculture Commissioner

Statewide

Candidates
D Kim Olson
L Richard Carpenter
R Sid MillerIncumbent

Railroad Commissioner

Statewide

Candidates
D Roman McAllen
L Mike Wright
R Christi CraddickIncumbent

Texas Supreme Court

Place 2

Candidates
D Steven Kirkland
R Jimmy Blacklock

Place 4

Candidates
D R.K. Sandill
R John DevineIncumbent

Place 6

Candidates
D Kathy Cheng
R Jeff BrownIncumbent

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Place 1

Candidates
D Maria T. (Terri) Jackson
L William Bryan Strange III
R Sharon KellerIncumbent

Place 7

Candidates
D Ramona Franklin
R Barbara Parker HerveyIncumbent

Place 8

Candidates
L Mark Ash
R Michelle Slaughter

State Board of Education

District 2

Candidates
D Ruben Cortez, Jr.Incumbent
R Charles “Tad” Hasse

District 3

Candidates
D Marisa B. PerezIncumbent

District 4

Candidates
D Lawrence Allen Jr.Incumbent

District 7

Candidates
D Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz
R Matt Robinson

District 11

Candidates
D Carla Morton
L Aaron Gutknecht
R Patricia “Pat” HardyIncumbent

District 12

Candidates
D Suzanne Smith
R Pam Little

District 13

Candidates
D Aicha Davis
R A. Denise Russell

U.S. House

District 1

Candidates
D Shirley J. McKellar
L Jeff Callaway
R Louie GohmertIncumbent

District 2

Candidates
D Todd Litton
L Patrick Gunnels
R Dan Crenshaw
I Scott Cubbler

District 3

Candidates
D Lorie Burch
L Christopher Claytor
R Van Taylor

District 4

Candidates
D Catherine Krantz
L Ken Ashby
R John RatcliffeIncumbent

District 5

Candidates
D Dan Wood
R Lance Gooden

District 6

Candidates
D Jana Lynne Sanchez
L Jason Allen Harber
R Ron Wright

District 7

Candidates
D Lizzie Pannill Fletcher
R John CulbersonIncumbent

District 8

Candidates
D Steven David
L Chris Duncan
R Kevin BradyIncumbent

District 9

Candidates
D Al GreenIncumbent
L Phil Kurtz
I Benjamin Hernandez
I Kesha Rogers

District 10

Candidates
D Mike Siegel
L Mike Ryan
R Michael T. McCaulIncumbent

District 11

Candidates
D Jennie Lou Leeder
L Rhett Rosenquest Smith
R Mike ConawayIncumbent

District 12

Candidates
D Vanessa Adia
L Jacob Leddy
R Kay GrangerIncumbent

District 13

Candidates
D Greg Sagan
L Calvin DeWeese
R Mac ThornberryIncumbent

District 14

Candidates
D Adrienne Bell
L Don E. Conley III
R Randy WeberIncumbent

District 15

Candidates
D Vicente GonzalezIncumbent
L Anthony Cristo
R Tim Westley

District 16

Candidates
D Veronica Escobar
R Rick Seeberger
I Ben Mendoza

District 17

Candidates
D Rick Kennedy
L Peter Churchman
R Bill FloresIncumbent

District 18

Candidates
D Sheila Jackson LeeIncumbent
L Luke Spencer
R Ava Reynero Pate

District 19

Candidates
D Miguel Levario
R Jodey ArringtonIncumbent

District 20

Candidates
D Joaquin CastroIncumbent
L Jeffrey Blunt

District 21

Candidates
D Joseph Kopser
L Lee Santos
R Chip Roy

District 22

Candidates
D Sri Preston Kulkarni
L John B. McElligott
R Pete OlsonIncumbent
I Kellen Sweny

District 23

Candidates
D Gina Ortiz Jones
L Ruben Corvalan
R Will HurdIncumbent

District 24

Candidates
D Jan McDowell
L Mike Kolls
R Kenny E MarchantIncumbent

District 25

Candidates
D Julie Oliver
L Desarae Lindsey
R Roger WilliamsIncumbent
I Martin Luecke

District 26

Candidates
D Linsey Fagan
L Mark Boler
R Michael C. BurgessIncumbent

District 27

Candidates
D Eric Holguin
L Daniel Tinus
R Michael Cloud
I James Duerr

District 28

Candidates
D Henry CuellarIncumbent
L Arthur M Thomas IV

District 29

Candidates
D Sylvia R. Garcia
L Cullen Burns
R Phillip Aronoff

District 30

Candidates
D Eddie Bernice JohnsonIncumbent
L Shawn Jones

District 31

Candidates
D Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar
L Jason Hope
R John CarterIncumbent

District 32

Candidates
D Colin Allred
L Melina Baker
R Pete SessionsIncumbent

District 33

Candidates
D Marc VeaseyIncumbent
L Jason Reeves
R Willie Billups

District 34

Candidates
D Filemon B. VelaIncumbent
R Rey Gonzalez

District 35

Candidates
D Lloyd DoggettIncumbent
L Clark Patterson
R David Smalling

District 36

Candidates
D Dayna Steele
R Brian BabinIncumbent

Texas Senate

District 2

Candidates
D Kendall Scudder
R Bob HallIncumbent

District 3

Candidates
D Shirley Layton
L Bruce Quarles
R Robert NicholsIncumbent

District 5

Candidates
D Meg Walsh
L Amy Lyons
R Charles SchwertnerIncumbent

District 7

Candidates
D David Romero
L Tom Glass
R Paul BettencourtIncumbent

District 8

Candidates
D Mark Phariss
R Angela Paxton

District 9

Candidates
D Gwenn Burud
R Kelly HancockIncumbent

District 10

Candidates
D Beverly Powell
R Konni BurtonIncumbent

District 14

Candidates
D Kirk WatsonIncumbent
L Micah M. Verlander
R George W. Hindman

District 15

Candidates
D John WhitmireIncumbent
L Gilberto “Gil” Velsquez, Jr
R Randy Orr

District 16

Candidates
D Nathan Johnson
R Don HuffinesIncumbent

District 17

Candidates
D Rita Lucido
L Lauren LaCount
R Joan HuffmanIncumbent

District 23

Candidates
D Royce WestIncumbent

District 25

Candidates
D Steven Kling
R Donna CampbellIncumbent

District 30

Candidates
D Kevin Lopez
R Pat Fallon

District 31

Candidates
L Jack B. Westbrook
R Kel SeligerIncumbent

Texas House

District 1

Candidates
R Gary VanDeaverIncumbent

District 2

Candidates
D Bill Brannon
R Dan FlynnIncumbent

District 3

Candidates
D Lisa Seger
R Cecil Bell JrIncumbent

District 4

Candidates
D Eston Williams
L D Allen Miller
R Keith Bell

District 5

Candidates
D Bill Liebbe
R Cole HefnerIncumbent

District 6

Candidates
R Matt SchaeferIncumbent
I Neal Katz

District 7

Candidates
R Jay DeanIncumbent

District 8

Candidates
D Wesley D. Ratcliff
R Cody Harris

District 9

Candidates
R Chris PaddieIncumbent

District 10

Candidates
D Kimberly Emery
L Matt Savino
R John WrayIncumbent

District 11

Candidates
D Alec Johnson
R Travis ClardyIncumbent

District 12

Candidates
D Marianne Arnold
R Kyle KacalIncumbent

District 13

Candidates
D Cecil Ray Webster, Sr.
R Ben Leman

District 14

Candidates
D Josh Wilkinson
R John RaneyIncumbent

District 15

Candidates
D Lorena Perez McGill
R Steve Toth

District 16

Candidates
D Mike Midler
R Will MetcalfIncumbent

District 17

Candidates
D Michelle Ryan
R John P. CyrierIncumbent

District 18

Candidates
D Fred Lemond
R Ernest BailesIncumbent

District 19

Candidates
D Sherry Williams
R James WhiteIncumbent

District 20

Candidates
D Stephen M. Wyman
R Terry M. WilsonIncumbent

District 21

Candidates
R Dade PhelanIncumbent

District 22

Candidates
D Joe DeshotelIncumbent

District 23

Candidates
D Amanda Jamrok
L Lawrence Johnson
R Mayes Middleton

District 24

Candidates
D John Y. Phelps
L Dick Illyes
R Greg BonnenIncumbent

District 25

Candidates
R Dennis BonnenIncumbent

District 26

Candidates
D L. Sarah DeMerchant
R D.F. “Rick” MillerIncumbent

District 27

Candidates
D Ron ReynoldsIncumbent

District 28

Candidates
D Meghan Scoggins
R John ZerwasIncumbent

District 29

Candidates
D James Presley
R Ed ThompsonIncumbent

District 30

Candidates
D Robin Hayter
R Geanie W. MorrisonIncumbent

District 31

Candidates
D Ryan GuillenIncumbent

District 32

Candidates
R Todd HunterIncumbent

District 33

Candidates
D Laura Gunn
R Justin HollandIncumbent

District 34

Candidates
D Abel HerreroIncumbent
R Chris Hale

District 35

Candidates
D Oscar LongoriaIncumbent

District 36

Candidates
D Sergio Muñoz, Jr.Incumbent

District 37

Candidates
D Alex Dominguez

District 38

Candidates
D Eddie Lucio IIIIncumbent

District 39

Candidates
D Armando “Mando” MartínezIncumbent

District 40

Candidates
D Terry CanalesIncumbent

District 41

Candidates
D Bobby GuerraIncumbent
R Hilda Garza DeShazo

District 42

Candidates
D Richard Peña RaymondIncumbent
R Luis De La Garza

District 43

Candidates
D Dee Ann Torres Miller
R J.M. LozanoIncumbent

District 44

Candidates
D John D. Rodgers
R John KuempelIncumbent

District 45

Candidates
D Erin Zwiener
R Ken Strange

District 46

Candidates
D Sheryl Cole
L Kevin Ludlow
R Gabriel Nila

District 47

Candidates
D Vikki Goodwin
R Paul D. WorkmanIncumbent

District 48

Candidates
D Donna HowardIncumbent

District 49

Candidates
D Gina HinojosaIncumbent
R Kyle Austin

District 50

Candidates
D Celia IsraelIncumbent

District 51

Candidates
D Eddie RodriguezIncumbent

District 52

Candidates
D James Talarico
R Cynthia Flores

District 53

Candidates
D Stephanie Lochte Ertel
R Andrew S. MurrIncumbent

District 54

Candidates
D Kathy Richerson
L Robert Walden
R Brad Buckley

District 55

Candidates
R Hugh D. ShineIncumbent

District 56

Candidates
D Katherine Turner-Pearson
R Charles “Doc” AndersonIncumbent

District 57

Candidates
D Jason Rogers
R Trent AshbyIncumbent

District 58

Candidates
R DeWayne BurnsIncumbent

District 59

Candidates
R J.D. SheffieldIncumbent

District 60

Candidates
R Mike LangIncumbent

District 61

Candidates
R Phil KingIncumbent

District 62

Candidates
D Valerie N. Hefner
L David Schaab
R Reggie Smith

District 63

Candidates
D Laura Haines
R Tan ParkerIncumbent

District 64

Candidates
D Andrew Morris
L Nick Dietrich
R Lynn StuckyIncumbent

District 65

Candidates
D Michelle Beckley
R Ron SimmonsIncumbent

District 66

Candidates
D Sharon Hirsch
R Matt ShaheenIncumbent

District 67

Candidates
D Sarah Depew
R Jeff LeachIncumbent

District 68

Candidates
R Drew SpringerIncumbent

District 69

Candidates
R James FrankIncumbent

District 70

Candidates
D Julie Luton
R Scott SanfordIncumbent

District 71

Candidates
D Sam Hatton
R Stan LambertIncumbent

District 72

Candidates
R Drew DarbyIncumbent

District 73

Candidates
D Stephanie Phillips
R Kyle BiedermannIncumbent

District 74

Candidates
D Poncho NevárezIncumbent

District 75

Candidates
D Mary E. GonzalezIncumbent

District 76

Candidates
D Cesar J. BlancoIncumbent

District 77

Candidates
D Evelina “Lina” OrtegaIncumbent

District 78

Candidates
D Joe MoodyIncumbent
R Jeffrey Lane

District 79

Candidates
D Joe C. PickettIncumbent

District 80

Candidates
D Tracy KingIncumbent

District 81

Candidates
D Armando Gamboa
R Brooks LandgrafIncumbent

District 82

Candidates
D Spencer Bounds
R Tom CraddickIncumbent

District 83

Candidates
D Drew Landry
R Dustin BurrowsIncumbent

District 84

Candidates
D Samantha Carrillo Fields
R John FrulloIncumbent

District 85

Candidates
D Jennifer Cantu
R Phil StephensonIncumbent

District 86

Candidates
D Mike Purcell
R John SmitheeIncumbent

District 87

Candidates
R Four PriceIncumbent

District 88

Candidates
D Ezekiel Barron
R Ken KingIncumbent

District 89

Candidates
D Ray Ash
R Candy Noble

District 90

Candidates
D Ramon Romero Jr.Incumbent

District 91

Candidates
D Jeromey Sims
R Stephanie KlickIncumbent

District 92

Candidates
D Steve Riddell
L Eric Espinoza
R Jonathan SticklandIncumbent

District 93

Candidates
D Nancy Bean
R Matt KrauseIncumbent

District 94

Candidates
D Finnigan Jones
L Jessica Pallett
R Tony TinderholtIncumbent

District 95

Candidates
D Nicole CollierIncumbent
L Joshua G. Burns
R Stephen A. West

District 96

Candidates
D Ryan E. Ray
L Stephen Parmer
R Bill ZedlerIncumbent

District 97

Candidates
D Beth Llewellyn McLaughlin
L Rod Wingo
R Craig GoldmanIncumbent

District 98

Candidates
D Mica J. Ringo
L H. Todd J. Moore
R Giovanni CapriglioneIncumbent

District 99

Candidates
D Michael Stackhouse
R Charlie GerenIncumbent

District 100

Candidates
D Eric JohnsonIncumbent

District 101

Candidates
D Chris TurnerIncumbent
L James Allen

District 102

Candidates
D Ana-Maria Ramos
R Linda KoopIncumbent

District 103

Candidates
D Rafael M. AnchiaIncumbent
R Jerry Fortenberry

District 104

Candidates
D Jessica Gonzalez

District 105

Candidates
D Thresa “Terry” Meza
R Rodney AndersonIncumbent

District 106

Candidates
D Ramona Thompson
R Jared Patterson

District 107

Candidates
D Victoria NeaveIncumbent
R Deanna Maria Metzger

District 108

Candidates
D Joanna Cattanach
R Morgan MeyerIncumbent

District 109

Candidates
D Carl Sherman

District 110

Candidates
D Toni RoseIncumbent

District 111

Candidates
D Yvonne DavisIncumbent

District 112

Candidates
D Brandy K Chambers
R Angie Chen ButtonIncumbent

District 113

Candidates
D Rhetta Andrews Bowers
R Jonathan Boos

District 114

Candidates
D John Turner
R Lisa Luby Ryan

District 115

Candidates
D Julie Johnson
R Matt RinaldiIncumbent

District 116

Candidates
D Trey Martinez Fischer
R Fernando Padron

District 117

Candidates
D Philip CortezIncumbent
R Michael Berlanga

District 118

Candidates
D Leo Pacheco
R John Lujan

District 119

Candidates
D Roland GutierrezIncumbent

District 120

Candidates
D Barbara Gervin-HawkinsIncumbent
R Ronald Payne

District 121

Candidates
D Celina D. Montoya
L Mallory Olfers
R Steve Allison

District 122

Candidates
D Claire Barnett
R Lyle LarsonIncumbent

District 123

Candidates
D Diego BernalIncumbent

District 124

Candidates
D Ina MinjarezIncumbent
R Johnny S. Arredondo

District 125

Candidates
D Justin RodriguezIncumbent
L Eric S. Pina

District 126

Candidates
D Natali Hurtado
R E. Sam Harless

District 127

Candidates
L Ryan Woods
R Dan HubertyIncumbent

District 128

Candidates
R Briscoe CainIncumbent

District 129

Candidates
D Alexander Jonathan Karjeker
L Joseph Majsterski
R Dennis PaulIncumbent

District 130

Candidates
D Fred Infortunio
L Roy Eriksen
R Tom OliversonIncumbent

District 131

Candidates
D Alma A. AllenIncumbent
R Syed S. Ali

District 132

Candidates
D Gina Calanni
L Daniel Arevalo
R Mike SchofieldIncumbent

District 133

Candidates
D Marty Schexnayder
R Jim MurphyIncumbent

District 134

Candidates
D Allison Lami Sawyer
R Sarah DavisIncumbent

District 135

Candidates
D Jon E. Rosenthal
L Paul Bilyeu
R Gary ElkinsIncumbent

District 136

Candidates
D John H Bucy III
L Zach Parks
R Tony DaleIncumbent

District 137

Candidates
D Gene WuIncumbent
L Lee Sharp

District 138

Candidates
D Adam Milasincic
R Dwayne BohacIncumbent

District 139

Candidates
D Jarvis D JohnsonIncumbent
L Shohn Trojacek

District 140

Candidates
D Armando Lucio WalleIncumbent

District 141

Candidates
D Senfronia ThompsonIncumbent

District 142

Candidates
D Harold V. Dutton JrIncumbent

District 143

Candidates
D Ana HernandezIncumbent

District 144

Candidates
D Mary Ann PerezIncumbent
R Ruben Villarreal

District 145

Candidates
D Carol AlvaradoIncumbent
L Clayton Hunt

District 146

Candidates
D Shawn Nicole ThierryIncumbent
L JJ Campbell

District 147

Candidates
D Garnet F. ColemanIncumbent
R Thomas Wang

District 148

Candidates
D Jessica Cristina FarrarIncumbent
R Ryan T. McConnico

District 149

Candidates
D Hubert VoIncumbent
L Aaron Close

District 150

Candidates
D Michael Shawn Kelly
R Valoree SwansonIncumbent

Author:  RYAN MURPHY – The Texas Tribune

Analysis: Texas Democratic Candidates Find Friendly Donors in Hostile Congressional Districts

Democratic challengers outraised Republican congressional incumbents in seven races in Texas during the second quarter of the year. But in most of those races — including the statewide contest for U.S. Senate — recent election history favors the Republicans. Sometimes, it favors them by a wide margin.

Money helps. A challenger to an incumbent has to become known to voters to have a chance, and some sort of advertising — door hangers, radio and TV advertising, social media ads — is a big part of that. An expensive part.

So don’t discount the importance of money, or the boost that a challenger gets by out-raising a better-known incumbent. But don’t ignore the political atmosphere, either. These are, for the most part, Republican districts.

Seven Republican incumbents in the Texas congressional delegation were outraised by their Democratic challengers in the second quarter of 2018: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Reps. John Carter of Round Rock, John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes, Pete Olson of Sugar Land, Pete Sessions of Dallas and Roger Williams of Austin. They were outdone by some Democratic names that, for now, are a little less well known: Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, MJ Hegar of Round Rock, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher of Houston, Gina Ortiz Jones of San Antonio, Sri Preston Kulkarni of Houston, Colin Allred of Dallas and Julie Oliver of Austin.

Cruz’s race against O’Rourke is this year’s marquee event. It’s the top race on the ballot, and the contest for governor that might contend with it for public attention looks considerably less competitive.

Cruz has run only one statewide general election —for Senate in 2012 — but was on the presidential ballot in 2016 before losing the Republican nomination to Donald Trump. He’s better known than all but a handful of Texas Republicans — a significant advantage over the Democrat — but he has also raised less money. That’s got people who don’t usually pay attention to these things paying attention; in a Texas where Republicans regularly beat Democrats by double-digit margins, recent polls have this contest in single digits.

The question being answered in November is a biennial one: Can a Democrat beat a Republican in a statewide race in Texas? For more than 20 years, the answer has been a consistent “no.” But the financial results to date — the candidate nicknamed Beto has outraised the candidate nicknamed Ted in all but one of the reports filed so far — has made “maybe” one of the possible answers.

Democrats in Texas do better in years when presidential races are on the ballot. Turnout is heavier — those national contests are more interesting to more people — and the margins tighten in statewide races. The average Republican margin of victory in 2014 — the last gubernatorial year — was 22.4 percentage points. In 2016, it was a smaller but still substantial 14.1 percentage points.

In the six congressional districts where Democrats outshone Republicans in second-quarter fundraising, only one — the 23rd — has been competitive in recent elections. Hurd won by a hair (1.3 percentage points) in 2016 after successfully challenging a Democratic incumbent two years earlier in an election he won by a relative landslide of 2.1 percentage points. He’ll face Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones in November.

Sessions didn’t have a Democratic opponent two years ago; in 2014, he finished 26 percentage points ahead of the Democratic candidate.

The other four seats are — at least in recent elections — testaments to a very effectively drawn political map: Each of the incumbents won easily in 2016: Culberson by 12 percentage points, Williams by 20, Olsen by 19 and Carter by 21.

Trump’s finish in some of those districts is encouraging to Democrats. He lost to Hillary Clinton in Culberson’s Houston district, in Hurd’s border district and in Sessions’ Dallas district. His political misfortunes weren’t enough to sink the people right behind him on the ballot, however, and he won’t be at the top of the ticket this year, anyhow.

Instead, the congressional candidates from both major parties will be watching the U.S. Senate race between Cruz and O’Rourke, hoping one of the two candidates directly above them on the ballot gets voters going in their direction.

Fundraising in these races during this most recent quarter went to the Democrats. Mark that as a hurdle overcome.

November is the bigger obstacle.

Author: ROSS RAMSEY – The Texas Tribune

H-P Election Center: VOTE2018 – Ballot for El Paso County, Statewide Races

It’s Election Day in the State of Texas from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.!

The interactive Primary Ballot above is courtesy The Texas Tribune, to see where you can vote click -> – Election Day Polling Places

Sample Ballots

Democratic Party
Republican Party

Accessible Sample Ballot (This site allows you to mark your sample ballot online and print it for your own reference)

EPCC to Host Forums for Upcoming Primary Election

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Political Forums Committee will hold primary debates and town halls for the March 6, 2018 primary elections.

“Most people don’t worry too much about the primaries, so they save their voting power for the general elections.  We think it is crucial for voters to elect the best nominee from each party,” EPCC SGA Secretary and Political Forums Chair, Bryan Mena said. “We hope to mobilize both our students and the general public.”

The largest of these events will be a Super Thursday debate with the candidates for the 16th Congressional District seat, 6:00 p.m., Thursday, February 15th at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Building A Auditorium, located at 9050 Viscount Boulevard.

EPCC Political Forums Committee will collaborate with EPCC, United Advocacy of El Paso, Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center, The El Paso Leadership Institute, and REV UP Texas for Super Thursday. The moderator will be Abel Rodriquez of Dialog Radio Network.

The Political Forums Committee is made up of EPCC students, staff and faculty. The committee is spearheaded by EPCC SGA Secretary and Political Forums Chair, Bryan Mena, who invited like-minded EPCC community members to take part in the committee’s mission of increasing voter registration, boosting voter turnout, educating the El Paso county electorate and bringing candidates face to face with their community.

Additional debates or forums:

State Representative, District 75 Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Mission del Paso Campus, Building A Cafeteria
10700 Gateway Blvd. East
Time and Date:  5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 1st

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Transmountain Campus, Forum Theater
9570 Gateway Blvd., North
Time and Date:  10:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 7th

El Paso County Judge Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Transmountain Campus, Forum Theater
9570 Gateway Blvd., North
Time and Date:  noon, Wednesday, February 7th

For more information, please call (915) 831-2096 or visit their Facebook page.

Texans Face New Voter ID Law for March 6 Primaries

AUSTIN – When Texans head to the polls March 6 for the first primary of the 2018 midterm elections, they’ll face a new Voter ID law.

That law, which went into effect Jan. 1, keeps the same list of permissible forms of identification, but allows Texans without a photo ID to vote if they present an alternate form of ID, such as a utility bill or pay stub.

However, according to Beth Stevens, voting rights director for the Texas Civil Rights Project, to use an alternative ID, you’ll have to sign a “reasonable impediment form” stating why you couldn’t obtain a proper ID.

She maintains the form, which sternly warns of the possible penalties for voter fraud, is designed to intimidate minority voters.

“On the reasonable impediment form itself, there’s going to be notice to the voter of, ‘Look, here are the things you could be charged with’ – perjury, or there’s a state jail felony,” she points out. “So, you can imagine as a voter going in and reading that, it can be scary.”

Stevens says the new law was revised last year by the Legislature after the courts struck down the 2011 Voter ID Law.

A federal judge ruled in 2017 that the first law was discriminatory, and is still considering whether state lawmakers passed that law with the intent to discriminate.

And even though the new version of the law is in effect, Stevens says yet another legal challenge could be in the offing.

Stevens says the Texas Civil Rights Project has joined the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition, a national effort to ensure voting rights.

The coalition will have trained volunteers and attorneys answering toll-free phone numbers in English, Spanish and a multi-Asian-language line to assist Texans with any problems they may encounter in the voting process.

“Anyone can call these numbers and ask anything as seemingly mundane as, ‘I don’t know where my polling location is,’ all the way to something more sinister like, ‘I’m in line to vote and I’m being intimidated,'” Stevens states.

She adds the coalition is also training hundreds of observers to place at polling stations across the state to ensure that voting rights are upheld, during both the March primaries and the general election in November.

Early voting for the primary begins Feb. 20.

Author:  Mark Richardson – Texas News Service

Analysis: The 2018 Texas Elections Started this Weekend

Now, push comes to shove, politically speaking. The filing period for people who want to be on next year’s state ballots opened Saturday — the beginning of a one-month put-up-or-shut-up period for those who think they ought to be running our governments.

We voters get our own swings at this in four months and then again in a year, as the primaries and then the general election come around.

For now, it looks like slim pickings. Maybe that will change. But so far, only a few Democrats have appeared both willing and ready — “ready” is the key word there —to take on a slate of incumbent Republican statewide officeholders seeking re-election.

The March 6 Texas primaries are the earliest in the country; our candidate-filing period is the earliest, too. (The latest is Louisiana, where all candidates, regardless of party, run on Nov. 6 and the top two — if neither breaks 50 percent in the first round — compete in a runoff on Dec. 8.)

The statewide officials elected next year will be in office the next time Texas draws its political maps, so there’s an extra significance to the 2018 elections. The next U.S. census will be held in 2020, and the Texas Legislature that meets in early 2021 will remake the maps for congressional, legislative and State Board of Education districts.

If legislators can’t get it done, the job goes to a five-person board that includes four of the officials who’ll be elected next year: the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller and the commissioner of the General Land Office.

The fifth member is the speaker of the House, who’ll be chosen (or re-elected) by the Texas House in January 2021.

Five of the state’s 36 members of the U.S. House have given notice, saying they won’t be on the 2018 ballot. That’s interesting in and of itself: Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, and Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, are both chairmen, and losing a couple of big shots is always news. But all five are striking, the most vacancies in a cycle in more than a decade. And each incumbent is leaving a seat open for the picking — creating a moment when any number of state senators, representatives, mayors and other fruits and nuts decide maybe it’s time for them to be in Congress.

The month ahead is when the rest of us find out who’s going to be in the lineup.Texas Democrats have been slow to raise their hands for the state’s top jobs. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso is running against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the ballot’s top race, and several candidates new to state politics have said they are looking at challenges to Gov. Greg Abbott and others on the incumbent list.

It’s worth pointing out that, six years ago, one of the least-promising contestants for a statewide job was Cruz himself. He was, at the time, a Houston attorney in private practice who had worked for the state attorney general and clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court but who had never run for office. And he was running against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who had won four statewide elections; former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert; and Craig James, a well-known former professional football player.

Keep that Cruz Asterisk in mind whenever you’re inclined to dismiss a candidate: Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce the way you think it will.

That said, the Democrats stepping forward for statewide office so far are not endowed with the widespread political fame or campaign or personal fortunes that would support any use of the word “formidable.” It’s safer to call some of them “interesting.”

Down the ballot, there are those five open congressional seats (so far) and several others that will be contested, as Democrats test the electoral strength of Republican incumbents in President Donald Trump’s midterm elections.

Three sitting Republican state senators — Craig Estes of Wichita Falls, Bob Hallof Edgewood and Kel Seliger of Amarillo —will face challengers in their Republican primaries. In the Texas House, a combination of open seats, swing districts and possibly a drag from the nation’s top Republican are expected to attract Democratic challengers hoping to knock off a handful of GOP incumbents. Those incumbents will be in trouble before November, challenged by opponents in a March party primary split between different Republican factions. The first order of business for the state representatives elected next year will be to choose a new leader to replace outgoing Speaker Joe Straus.

That’s the general outlook, as the filings begin. Over the next month, the candidates themselves will provide the specific outlines for the political year ahead.

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • The easiest way to judge public officials is the same way you judge the people where you work: Are they doing a good job? [Full story]
  • If you want Texans to vote, you have to get their attention, to give them something engaging to consider. There’s a constitutional amendment election starting next week. Interested? [Full story]
  • For the first time since 1993, there will be an open race for Texas House speaker. With current Speaker Joe Straus announcing his exit, expect a clear turn in the fight between the state’s business and movement conservatives. [Full story]

Author:  ROSS RAMSEY – The Texas Tribune

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