Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune

Two people were taken to the hospital Tuesday after a "white powdery substance" was sent to the Houston campaign office of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, according to authorities who said the power turned out not to be hazardous.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee for governor, swung away at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in their first and only debate Friday evening, while Abbott largely ignored her and defended his first term.

Gallego: Bob Daemmrich; Flores: Campaign website

Republican Pete Flores defeated Democrat Pete Gallego on Tuesday night in the special election runoff for Senate District 19, a major upset in a Democratic-friendly seat.

With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting, Flores was leading Gallego by 6 percentage points in the race to replace convicted former state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. Flores had 53 percent of the vote and Gallego 47 percent in unofficial returns.

Gallego conceded to Flores around 9 p.m., according to both campaigns.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Robin Jerstad: Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, have agreed to three debates before Election Day.

Announced Friday by both campaigns, the schedule calls for debates Sept. 21 in Dallas, Sept. 30 in Houston and Oct. 16 in San Antonio. Each event will be an hour long and vary in topic and format:

Bob Daemmrich / BDP Inc.

The campaign of Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, says an "impostor" was behind a text message that surfaced Wednesday asking voters to help people who are in the country illegally cast ballots.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Laura Buckman

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate for governor, has agreed to debate the Republican incumbent, Greg Abbott, on Sept. 28 in Austin, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether the two would face off.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has challenged Democratic opponent Beto O'Rourke to five topical debates before Election Day, about three months after O'Rourke challenged Cruz to six.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has accepted an invitation from a TV station group to debate Democratic opponent Lupe Valdez on Sept. 28 in Austin — and she says she's "in" but doesn't sound sold on the specifics yet.

Despite nine candidates on the ballot, Republican Michael Cloud drew enough support to win Saturday's special election to fill former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold's seat, sparing the GOP a runoff in the 27th District. 

With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Cloud was leading Democrat Eric Holguin 54 percent to 32 percent, according to unofficial returns. Cloud, a former chairman of the Victoria County GOP, needed to finish above 50 percent to avert a runoff later this summer.

Joan Brook for The Texas Tribune

FORT WORTH — Even before Texas Democrats’ convention officially got underway here this weekend, its top candidates were chomping at the bit to seize on the biggest story in the country: thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border.

Leslie Boorhem Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is asking Texans in Congress to take bipartisan action to address the crisis of thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

SAN ANTONIO — Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey has won re-election, beating back a challenge from longtime activist Cindy Asche after a long and bitter fight on the convention floor Friday.

Texas Tribune

Texas is ready for the next Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday after participating in a briefing with President Donald Trump to prepare for the upcoming storm season.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott will announce a plan Wednesday to make Texas schools safer in the wake of the deadly Santa Fe shooting, according to his office.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

In the hours after a deadly shooting at a southeast Texas high school left at least 10 dead and 10 more wounded, a familiar debate began to emerge — pitting the state’s top Republican leaders against some of the Democrats vying to take their spots in this year’s elections.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Bob Daemmrich

Gov. Greg Abbott is demanding that former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold "cover all costs" of the special election to fill his seat using the $84,000 the Corpus Christi Republican used to settle a sexual harassment claim years ago.

Official House portrait

Gov. Greg Abbott has called a June 30 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi.

Laura Skelding /Douglas Young

When U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced his latest fundraising haul earlier this month – a stunning $6.7 million – it was widely expected to surpass what his rival, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, brought in over the same period. Now it's clear by how much: roughly $3.5 million.

By Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign was assured the much-touted data firm it used during the 2016 race, Cambridge Analytica, was operating above the board, the U.S. senator said Tuesday, weighing in as the company faced growing scrutiny over its practices.

Robin Jerstad/Marjorie Kamys Cotera via Texas Tribune

Lupe Valdez and Andrew White will advance to a runoff in the Democratic primary for governor.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera (O'Rourke)/Robin Jerstad (Cruz)

It's official: Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke will face off in the general election for U.S. Senate in Texas.

Cruz, the Republican incumbent, and O'Rourke, a Democratic congressman from El Paso, were on track to easily capture their parties' nominations Tuesday night, according to early returns. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The State Republican Executive Committee voted to censure Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, on Saturday, dinging the outgoing state leader for standing in the way of the party leadership group's priorities.

Courtesy of Blake Farenthold

Embattled U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, will not appear on the 2018 primary ballot after a late push by the state Republican Party to keep him off. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A hectic candidate filing period came to a relatively calm close Monday evening, with few major surprises as the field was set for the 2018 primaries in Texas.

The political landscape had been upended in recent weeks, with a rash of congressional retirements leading to five newly open seats. Four state lawmakers launched campaigns for those seats, setting the stage for further turnover in Austin.

HOUSTON — Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, made it official Thursday morning: He is running for governor, joining the crowded Democratic primary with four days to go before the filing deadline.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez announced Wednesday morning that she is running for governor, giving Texas Democrats a serious candidate for the top job with five days until the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 primaries.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday panned the White House's latest disaster aid request, calling it "completely inadequate" for Texas' needs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. 

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