Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

Nelson campaign/Laura Buckman: Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is getting his first Democratic opponent for re-election.

Attorney Justin Nelson is entering the race to be the state's top lawyer with just over a month until the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 primaries. 

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has emerged as potential Democratic challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018.

In an interview Monday, Valdez described herself as "in the exploratory process," looking at the data for a potential run against the Republican incumbent. "I've been approached and I'm listening," she said. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

In the wake of the "bathroom bill" fight that generated strong business backlash, House Speaker Joe Straus is putting together a committee to make sure Texas can continue to chase new companies. 

Laura Skelding/Douglas Young

After getting outraised by his Democratic opponent earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appears to have regained fundraising momentum from U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso.

In the third quarter, Cruz raised over $2 million for his re-election campaign and its allied groups, his team announced Wednesday, shortly after O'Rourke's campaign unveiled his haul for the three-month period: $1.7 million.

Alexa Ura / The Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump is nominating two Texans to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Dallas attorney James Ho. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, has filed paperwork to run to be the next speaker of the Texas House.

"Over the past several months, many of my colleagues have encouraged me to consider running for Speaker," King said in a statement. "In order to have an open discussion concerning the future of our Texas House, I have filed the required paperwork to declare my candidacy for Speaker."

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

SAN ANTONIO — Texas House Speaker Joe Straus urged business leaders Tuesday to keep up the fight following the failure of legislative efforts this year to pass a "bathroom bill" that many of them opposed.

"Texans rejected name-calling and scare tactics, and as a result, we avoided a major mistake that would’ve cost our economy greatly and divided us unnecessarily," Straus, R-San Antonio, said in a speech to the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. "Now is not the time to walk away from the table. Going forward, working together we can do more than just avoiding mistakes."

Robin Jerstad/Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday weighed in on the renewed debate over Confederate monuments in Texas, saying that removing them "won't erase our nation's past, and it doesn't advance our nation's future." 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday put blame on the House — particularly Speaker Joe Straus — for the shortcomings of the special session and left the door open to calling another one.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature closed out the special session Tuesday night amid a stalemate on property tax reform, leaving unfinished Gov. Greg Abbott's top priority.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has a nearly $41 million war chest heading into his re-election campaign — and a special session in which he's looking to keep political pressure on lawmakers to pass an ambitious 20-item agenda. 

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump announced Monday he will nominate former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs to serve in the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Trump is tapping Combs to be an assistant secretary of the Interior for policy, management and budget, according to the White House. The department is responsible for the management of federal land.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In a Texas congressional district that includes one of the country's largest military bases, a military hero is betting she can stage a political upset.

Doug Young for The Texas Tribune

MCALLEN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, waded into this Democratic stronghold Tuesday to celebrate the Fourth of July — and predictably got an earful from protesters, many upset with the Senate's efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed 50 bills that were passed during the regular legislative session, his office announced Thursday.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has received a new judge in his securities fraud case — a newly elected Democrat who unseated Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's son last year.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement on whether he will call a special session is not expected to happen before next week.

On Monday, Abbott said he would share his verdict "later this week." On Friday, his office said he would not make the announcement Friday or over the weekend. 

Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

A state appeals court ruled Tuesday that the judge in Attorney General Ken Paxton's securities fraud case lost jurisdiction when he sent it to Harris County in April. The court also directed the judge, George Gallagher, to vacate all subsequent orders, including one that set a September trial date.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Matt Rinaldi's scuffle Monday with Hispanic lawmakers is already putting a bright spotlight on his House district — and whether he can hold on to it in 2018.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday promised to make an announcement "later this week" on whether he will call a special session.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a ban on "sanctuary cities" into law on Sunday, putting the final touch on legislation that would also allow police to inquire about the immigration status of people they lawfully detain.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, has decided not to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2018.

He announced the decision in an email to supporters Monday, saying he wants to remain focused on his work in the House. The decision leaves U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, as Cruz's main competition.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump is completing his first 100 days in office with an upside-down approval rating in solid-red Texas. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is signaling support for House legislation that some hope will serve as an alternative to the Senate's "bathroom bill."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

State District Judge George Gallagher will remain on the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to a spokeswoman for the judge.

It was originally believed Gallagher would have to rule on a request Paxton's lawyers made this month for a new judge. But the spokeswoman, Melody McDonald Lanier, said Monday that he does not and will continue presiding over the case.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's trial on securities fraud charges has been moved to Harris County.

Last month, the judge in the case ordered the trial moved out of Collin County, where Paxton resides. Prosecutors had argued Paxton and his allies had tainted the jury pool there.

"Harris County was selected because the lead counsel for the state and the defense are located there," the judge, George Gallagher, said in a statement. "Harris County also has the facilities to accommodate the trial."

Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — Hillary Clinton told Texas Democrats on Friday that despite her devastating loss in last year's presidential election, the state provided a bright spot for the party going forward. 

Clinton lost to Republican Donald Trump by 9 points in Texas, the narrowest margin of victory the GOP has has seen in Texas since 1996

Pages