Texas GOP

State Rep. Rick Miller, R- Sugar Land
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land, is no longer running for reelection after he sparked a firestorm for saying he was facing primary challengers because they are “Asian.”

House of Representatives

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2020, making him the sixth GOP congressman from Texas to say he's retiring in recent weeks.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Until somewhat recently, being a Texas Democrat was kind of a bummer.  

Jason Stanford, a longtime Democratic operative in the state, says he got data on the scope of that political melancholy in 2006 while running a gubernatorial race.

Photo courtesy of James Dickey

From Texas Standard:

The GOP in Texas will face greater challenges in 2020 than it has for many years. Sen. John Cornyn and party Chairman James Dickey have acknowledged the problem.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas' top Republican lawmakers spent the morning Friday revving up the crowd at their convention in San Antonio. Now the heavy lifting of this biennial event begins.

The delegates vote on a party chairman and then begin debate on the state party platform. The (currently) 38-page document lists the party's priorities, plans and ideals.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Thousands of Republicans are in San Antonio this week for the state convention. They'll bring plenty of red, white and blue clothing – along with elephant hats. But in the midst of the spectacle, there's work getting done by party officials and delegates. Here's a little checklist of what to watch for over the next three days.

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

From Texas Standard.

On May 31, President Donald Trump will be back in Texas for lunch – $5,000 per plate – with well heeled Houstonians, then that evening he’ll preside at a dinner in Dallas.

Spc. Carlynn Knaak/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

From Texas Standard.

A pair of developments over the weekend have all eyes on Texas Democrats. Just before midnight on Friday, the Dallas County GOP filed a lawsuit seeking to remove 128 Democratic candidates from the county ballot. Republicans say the candidates’ paperwork didn’t include an authentic signature of Democratic party chair, Carol Donovan.

Gromer Jeffers, a political writer for the Dallas Morning News, says there’s evidence that someone other than Donovan signed the candidates’ filing petitions.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Texans don’t care about primary elections – at least if history is any indication. Single-digit turnouts are not uncommon in non-presidential election years. But there’s reason to think conventional wisdom could be turned on its head this March.

An unlikely coalition of business groups and educators are coming together to get out the vote, and they appear to have rattled allies of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Something happened last night that hasn’t happened in 25 years: The state with "Heart of Dixie" stamped on its license plate elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. The question is whether Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama is an anomaly or a turning point. His opponent, Roy Moore, was a flawed and controversial candidate, but with a Democratic victory, and the weakness of President Donald Trump among some moderately conservative Republicans, it’s possible to envision Democrats making more gains, even in bright red Texas. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard

While news that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wouldn’t be seeking re-election reverberated through the state capital last week, we got word of more turmoil in the Texas Republican Party – this time involving state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal columnist Jay Leeson says the Panhandle is rumbling again.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election. The conservative Republican made an emotional speech on the Senate floor, condemning the “coarseness of our leadership” and warning his colleagues in Congress that the Republican Party was “complicit.” Flake has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, though he did not mention the president by name.

Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science at the University of Houston and author of the book Inside Texas Politics, says Flake joins fellow Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and 17 House Republicans, including one-fourth of the Republican women in the chamber, who have announced their retirements ahead of the 2018 election cycle.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Despite the results of this year’s election, there are still Republicans who say the party needs to appeal to a more diverse group of voters if they want to win the White House in the future. Specifically, they say the party needs to attract Hispanic voters.

And the case study some Republicans are pointing to when they make this argument is solidly-red Texas.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A Texas Republican elector is resigning over the election of Donald Trump, saying he cannot "in good conscience" vote for the incoming president.