Politics

Political news

Michael Minasi / KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has challenged Round Rock City Council’s decision to move its May 2020 elections to May 2021.

President Trump addresses the American Farm Bureau Federation's convention in Austin in January.
Julia Reihs / KUT

WASHINGTON - In a rare moment in the Trump era, several Texas Republicans pushed back against President Donald Trump on Thursday when he floated in a tweet the idea of delaying the presidential election in November. The president does not have the legal authority to move Election Day; that power resides with Congress.

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland in 2013.
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, he said in an interview with East Texas Now where he speculated that he may have caught the virus from wearing his mask.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, has dropped out of the runoff with former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt for the state Senate seat left vacant by Kirk Watson.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A Houston federal judge ruled Friday that the Republican Party of Texas may proceed with its in-person convention, a striking last-minute development as party officials have struggled to get a virtual gathering underway. But soon after the ruling, party Chair James Dickey said the party will continue with its plans for a virtual convention, saying it would provide the best opportunity for delegates to participate.

A Texas couple was forced into a tough position on Election Day: quarantine — as instructed by Travis County public health officials — or vote in Tuesday’s primary runoff elections and take the chance of infecting others.

Sarah Eckhardt
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Editor's note: Vote totals from the state and Travis and Bastrop counties now match. Sarah Eckhardt currently has 49.66% of the vote.

Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt took home the most votes in the special election Tuesday to replace Kirk Watson in the Texas Senate, but whether she got enough to win outright or must face state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez in a runoff is unclear.

The confusion comes from a discrepancy between vote totals from the state and Travis and Bastrop counties.

MJ Hegar speaks to supporters at the Riveter during an election watch party Tuesday. Unofficial results showed her leading the Democratic primary.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

MJ Hegar claimed victory in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s runoff election against state Sen. Royce West of Dallas. 

Texas Tribune

Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt was leading the way Tuesday night in the special election to replace former state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, though it appeared she would still be heading to a runoff with state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez.

Via social media

No one on the Texas State Board of Education wanted conspiracy theorist Robert Morrow to join their ranks — and Tuesday's runoff election gave them their wish.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Incumbent District Attorney Margaret Moore has conceded after a commanding lead in early voting and mail-in votes in support of challenger José Garza.

The Democratic primary runoff for the office pitted the embattled incumbent against a self-described progressive who says he hopes to revamp criminal justice at the office.

Voters wear masks as they enter a polling location on Election Day.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

KUT is following a number of federal, state and local races throughout Central Texas.

People in line when polls close at 7 p.m. will still be allowed to vote, so there's no telling when all the ballots will be counted. The surge in vote-by-mail applications this year could mean final results won't be known by the end of the night.

We'll be updating results below as they are announced. 

RELATED | Sarah Eckhardt, Eddie Rodriguez Poised For A Runoff In Texas Senate District 14 Special Election

Julia Reihs / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza will be the next Travis County Attorney after her runoff opponent, Laurie Eiserloh, conceded the race on election night.

With early voting totals in, Garza led Eiserloh by a margin of a little over 8,300 votes – 55% to 45% of early votes and mail-in ballots. By 1 a.m. Wednesday, unofficial county results put that lead at more than 16,000 votes. Eiserloh's concession came shortly after 11:30 p.m on Tuesday.

Updated at 2:43 p.m. ET

As polls show a tightening presidential race in traditionally Republican Texas, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is launching his first general election ad in the state.

The League of Women Voters of Texas says it's been hearing reports that voters have been getting their absentee ballots sent back to them after putting them in the mail.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Some Texans who voted by mail in recent weeks are getting their filled-out ballots sent back to them, according to the League of Women Voters of Texas.

Incumbent Judge Dimple Malhotra (left) is competing against Margaret Chen Kercher for the Democratic nomination for County Court Law No. 4.
Via the campaign websites

If you’re voting in the Democratic primary runoff in Travis County on Tuesday, you’ll see a race somewhere in the middle of the ballot for a judgeship for something called County Court at Law No. 4.

There are two candidates in the runoff: Dimple Malhotra and Margaret Chen Kercher.

Via the campaign website (Popp)/Miguel Guiierrez Jr./KUT

A long-time educator and a man who calls President Donald Trump a “child rapist” are competing for the Republican nomination for a State Board of Education seat.

Via the campaign websites

Two Hays County Republicans are vying for a chance to represent Texas House District 45, a swing district in Hays and Blanco counties that GOP leaders are targeting this year.

The winner will take on incumbent state Rep. Erin Zwiener, who was elected in 2018, becoming the first Democrat to win the seat since 2010.

Telemundo/Pool footage

After weeks of political posturing between state Republicans and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the mayor on Wednesday said he’s canceling the Texas Republican Party’s in-person convention, an event that was scheduled to be held at downtown Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center beginning on July 16.

Courtesy of the candidates

Travis County Commissioners Court District 3 runs from Austin’s downtown core westward to the edge of the Hill Country, so the district covers a lot of ground in more ways than one.

It’s that challenging terrain, literally and metaphorically, that attracted the two Democratic candidates in the July 14 runoff: Ann Howard and Valinda Bolton.

The Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Six candidates are contending for the office held for the last 13 years by state Sen. Kirk Watson. The longtime senator and former mayor of Austin moved to a position with the University of Houston in April.

Julia Reihs/KUT (left); courtesy of Garza campaign

The district attorney is considered the most powerful actor in the criminal justice system. These prosecutors have total discretion when it comes to pursuing criminal cases, operating with broad legal immunity. 

Attendees of theTexas Republican Convention stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in San Antonio in 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas GOP's executive committee voted Thursday night to proceed with plans to hold the party’s in-person convention in Houston later this month.

(Left) Julia Reihs | KUT; (Right) Photo courtesy of Laurie Eiserloh

The Travis County attorney does thankless work. That's a bleak descriptor, but it's not wrong.

Both Laurie Eiserloh, a career attorney and longtime staffer at the county attorney's office, and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza want to take on that thankless work and are competing in the Democratic runoff for the position that has no Republican challenger.

A voter enters a polling place at the North Austin YMCA on March 3, 2020.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Some Travis County voters say they are missing races on their mail-in ballot for the July 14 primary runoff elections. The Travis County Clerk's Office says that's because they didn't read their mail-in ballot application closely.

Years ago, when his kids were young, Texas Sen. Royce West remembers getting stopped by a cop.

Courtesy of the candidates

The Railroad Commission of Texas might be one of the most powerful government agencies you’ve never heard of. That’s because, despite the name, the commission regulates the Texas oil and gas industry.

MJ Hegar, a former Air Force pilot, is the front-runner for the nomination to run against John Cornyn in November.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

MJ Hegar has been the front-runner throughout Texas' Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate. Hegar, who first ran for office during a wave of women seeking office following the Me Too movement, won 22% of the vote in the crowded March primary.

Courtesy of the candidates

Republicans Jennifer Fleck and Justin Berry are facing off in a runoff July 14 to compete in the November general election to represent District 47 in the state House of Representatives.

Pritesh Gandhi and Mike Siegel, candidates for the Democratic nomination in Texas' 10th Congressional District.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

One of the congressional races being watched nationally is Texas’ 10th Congressional District. It’s being called a “battleground race," because Republican incumbent Michael McCaul – who has held the seat since 2004 – won it in 2018 by only 4 percentage points.   

Pages