State GOP leaders win big in Texas legislative primaries
Almost all the preferred candidates of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan nabbed enough votes to head into the November general election. And nearly all sitting House and Senate members seeking to return to the Texas Capitol kept their seats.
In fast-growing Central Texas, redistricting sparks political reshuffling in upcoming statehouse and congressional races
The fast-growing region likely will see a considerable number of new state and federal lawmakers after the 2022 election. And in many cases, they will be representing districts whose boundaries have significantly shifted.
After losing to a Democrat in 2020, former GOP state Sen. Pete Flores seeks election in newly drawn Republican district
Within hours, Flores got the endorsement of Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, who is vacating the seat to run for land commissioner, and then Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate.
Texas Senate changes rules so Republicans can still bring bills to floor without Democratic support
The Texas Senate gallery is mostly empty due to social distancing at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Credit: Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman)The Texas Senate on Wednesday approved a fundamental alteration of its rules, ending the minority party’s ability to block legislation it unanimously opposes in the Republican-controlled upper chamber. In a 18-13 vote, lawmakers voted to lower the threshold of support that legislation needs to make it onto the Senate floor. In past sessions, the Senate required a two-thirds supermajority, or 19 votes, to bring legislation to the floor. The gravity of the change was reflected in an unusual scene on the Senate floor: Nearly all 31 senators were in their seats, rapt, as the chamber debated.
Dan Patrick wants to change Senate rules so GOP keeps a key advantage, despite losing its supermajority
Dan Patrick said he's considering lowering the "supermajority" threshold in the Texas Senate. Currently, Senate rules say 19 of the chamber's 31 members — three-fifths — must agree to call up a bill for debate. Patrick already oversaw a decrease in the threshold during his first session as lieutenant governor in 2015. In January, Patrick suggested lowering the threshold — to a simple majority, 16 members — if the GOP failed to hold on to its supermajority in the coming election. But in the weeks after Flores' loss, Patrick kept quiet about whether he would follow through on pushing the rule change.sacurrent.com
On Election Day, Republicans lost a critical advantage in the state Senate. Will Dan Patrick push to change the rules?
Right now, Senate rules require 19 members, or three-fifths of the body, to vote to bring legislation to the floor. Four GOP senators’ offices said Tuesday they were unavailable to discuss the topic of Senate rules going into the session. And when it comes to the hot-button issues that could benefit from a rules change, state leaders have largely held back on detailing their agendas for the time being. “If we lose one or two seats, then we might have to go to 16 next session," Patrick said. Democrats denounced Patrick’s January comments, saying the rule change would bring a Washington, D.C.-style gridlock to Austin.
San Antonio state senator proposes marijuana legalization as Texas faces budget shortfall
While campaigning for the state Senate seat, Gutierrez, a Democrat, made marijuana legalization one of his campaign platforms. In 2015, Texas lawmakers passed the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which legalized medical cannabis with less than 0.5% THC for people with specific diagnoses, like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Veterans unsuccessfully lobbied the legislature to include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as one of the diagnoses that qualify for medical marijuana use. Public sentiment has grown in Texas for marijuana legalization, polls showed. Dan Patrick, have yet to embrace marijuana legalization and have not completely been supportive of expanding medical use.
Texas House majority in limbo as election results come in
Texas State Capitol. And bookmark our Texas election results page here. Democrats and Republicans fighting for control of the Texas House appeared to be holding their numbers as early vote returns came in Tuesday. In one Houston-area race, state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, was behind her Democratic challenger Ann Johnson by nearly 7 percentage points, according to early vote returns. Flores, the first Hispanic Republican to serve in the Texas Senate, was down by a margin of roughly 22 percentage points.
Roland Gutierrez's lead against State Sen. Pete Flores one of few bright spots for Texas Democrats
click to enlarge Jade Esteban Estrada (left) and Facebook / Texas Sen. Pete Flores (right)Democratic Texas Rep. Roland Gutierrez (left) scored a victory against first-term Texas Sen. Pete Flores (right), a Republican. If progressives smarting from Democrats' 2020 underperformance in Texas need a bright spot right now, there is one to be found — and it's in the Alamo City, or at least Alamo City-adjacent.With more than 40% of the votes counted, Texas Rep. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, has a heftylead on freshman State Sen. Pete Flores, R-Pleasanton. And a Gutierrez victory would end the 19-seat supermajority Republicans need to bring up bills in the Senate under current rules.Flores' Senate District 19 sprawls from SA into West Texas and was a longtime blue stronghold before Flores out-hustled his Democratic rival to land a 2018 special election win.Coming into this week's contest, the GOP commanded 19 seats to Democrats’ 12 in the Texas Senate. Flores' likely loss would strip Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of the supermajority he's wielded to move conservative legislation to the Texas House without compromise.But before Dems pop the cork on the champagne they left untouched last night, there's a caveat.Patrick, the architect of Texas' failed bathroom bill, led a 2015 rule change to lower the supermajority rule from 21 to 19 back in 2015, and earlier this year, he threatened to lower the threshold even further — something he could do with a simple majority vote.Stay tuned.sacurrent.com
Election results 2020: Roland Gutierrez elected to Texas State Senate District 19 seat
Find other election results Type to search all races...State Senator, District 19 View All CandidatesGet more election results on our homepage and Vote 2020 page. Democrat Roland Gutierrez declares victory in state Senate race for District 19Wednesday, 3:49 p.m. - Roland Gutierrez has defeated Republican incumbent Pete Flores by more than 10,000 votes. Texas’ District 19 represents one of the largest legislative districts in the entire country, spanning 15 counties and covering 35,000 square miles and 400,000 miles of the Texas-Mexico border. BackgroundTwo years ago, Pete Flores stunned the Texas political landscape by winning the District 19 state senate seat. Texas State Senate District 19 (KSAT/Brittney Daniels)Before his run for the Texas Senate, Gutierrez had been a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 119 since 2008.
Democrats seek to undo San Antonio Senate slip-up
If elected to the Texas Senate, Roland Gutierrez promises not to end his tenure in federal prison. But Democrats in state Senate District 19—a sprawling district rooted in San Antonio that sweeps down to Eagle Pass and all the way out to far West Texas—have to start somewhere. Two months later, Democrats picked up 12 state House seats, two state Senate seats, and Beto came, as he might say, real fucking close to unseating Ted Cruz. Echoing claims long made by Republicans seeking inroads in Hispanic South Texas, Flores told The Texan he suits his district. In the state Senate, bills generally require the support of three-fifths of the chamber to advance.sacurrent.com
Pete Flores, Roland Gutierrez square off in critical District 19 Texas Senate race
SAN ANTONIO – Two years ago, Pete Flores stunned the Texas political landscape by winning the District 19 state senate seat. Before his run for the Texas Senate, Gutierrez had been a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 119 since 2008. Prior to that, Gutierrez served on the San Antonio City Council from 2005-2008. In his first legislative session, Flores has authored or sponsored bills that focused on infrastructure and funding for the renovation of San Antonio State Hospital (SASH). Flores was the co-author of the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, which provides immediate property tax relief and limits future tax-rate growth.
Article alleges job discrimination under State Sen. Pete Flores' watch at Texas Parks & Wildlife
click to enlarge Twitter / @PeteFlores_TXState Sen. Pete Flores retired as head of the Texas Park & Wildlife Department's law enforcement division in 2012. Texas Parks & Wildlife was unable to provide an immediate comment on the article's allegations. "According to the's investigation, Flores regularly hired and promoted Hispanic game wardens during his time as director, which helped raise the agency's overall diversity numbers. ""The color of one's skin can mean 30 years of going nowhere," one warden interviewed by the paper said of barriers faced by Black TP&W employees.The Texas Democratic Party said thearticle shows a "pattern of discrimination" by Flores. Gutierrez — Flores' opponent in the November election — didn't offer specific comment on the allegations raised by the"Senator Flores embraces Donald Trump and his principles," Gutierrez said.sacurrent.com
Longtime Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. leading over challenger from his left
Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, spoke during during a Senate State Affairs committee hearing on July 23, 2017. According to early returns from the Texas Secretary of State, Lucio was leading Stapleton-Barrera 54%-46%. Another Senate runoff that drew considerable attention was the Democratic race to go against state Sen. Pete Flores, R-Pleasanton. Flores fell short in his bid to upset state Sen. Carlos Uresti for the seat in 2016. As of late Tuesday evening, the special election to replace former state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, remained fluid.
Texas runoff election results: State Senator, District 19, Democratic; Roland Gutierrez and Xochil Pea Rodriguez
SAN ANTONIO Editors note: Election results will begin to populate on this page when early voting results are released at 7 p.m. (CST) on July 14. Background:This district will be one of the most interesting to watch both during the runoff and in November. Pea Rodriguez nearly avoided a runoff in March but Gutierrez usurped 36% of the vote, barely squeezing her into a runoff. Related: Judge again caught campaigning for daughter in Texas Senate race as questions emerge about her donationsRelated: Xochil Pea Rodriguez, Rep. Roland Gutierrez headed to runoff for state Senate District 19You can find additional election results by scrolling to the bottom of this page. For more election coverage, go to our Vote 2020 page or sign up for our free election newsletter.
State lawmakers, local leaders on Facebook Live at 7 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19
SAN ANTONIO – Several Texas lawmakers from the area will be joined by other government officials for a Facebook Live event at 7 p.m. on Monday. Facebook Live will be available for viewing on the following Facebook Pages:Questions can be submitted on those Facebook pages. The following will be participating in the hour-long event:Texas State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (Dist. 120)Texas State Sen. Pete FloresTexas State Sen. Jose MenendezDr. Charles J. Lerner, Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Taskforce MemberDawn Emerick, Director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health DistrictAnthony Ruiz, District Director San Antonio District Office U.S. Small Business AdministrationCOVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
Xochil Pea Rodriguez, Roland Gutierrez Land in Runoff in State Senate District 19
Two key Democratic primary races, in Texas Senate District 19 and House District 119, were headed to runoffs early Wednesday. Texas House District 119With Gutierrez in the running for Texas Senate, three Democrats were also vying for his seat in Texas House District 119. Other State House RacesThree Texas House districts in Bexar County have candidates of both parties running unopposed. In House District 117, three-term Democratic State Rep. Phillip Cortez was set to run in November against Republican Carlos Antonio Raymond. Incumbent State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) ran unopposed in the primary for his second term representing House District 118.therivardreport.com
SD 19 Candidate Freddy Ramirez Leaves the Big Words at Home
Having such high-profile opponents in the Democratic primary means Ramirez needs to build his community clout from the ground up. During our conversation and later, during an SD 19 candidate forum, I notice that he has neither Gutierrezs political polish nor Pea Rodriguezs stately manner of speaking. In the past, people have encouraged Ramirez to sound more professorial and attorney-like, but he prefers to leave the big words at home. Ramirez decided running for office would give him a chance to make a positive impact on future generations. So, by the time I [get to work], Im good to go.I ask what he most wants people to know about him.outinsa.com
Editorial: Ready, set, get thee to the polls
At the top of the primary ballot is the race for president, which on the Republican side includes President Donald J. Trump and seven challengers. The Republican primary for U.S. senate includes incumbent John Cornyn and seven opponents, while the Democratic race has an even dozen candidates to choose from. On the Democratic ballot, five candidates have tossed their hats into the ring. Contestants in the Republican primary include Fabian Villasana, Otto Arnim and Ruben Nolasco. Democratic office seekers are Armando Garcia and Miguel Mike Hernandez.uvaldeleadernews.com
State Senate Challengers Talk Public, Charter School Disparity
Three of the four Democratic candidates campaigning for a chance at the Republican-held seat in the Texas Senate agree on a number of public education issues, especially when it comes to charter schools. The voucher program, he said, has torn away at the public school system. Its astounding to me that we have two parallel systems of education, public and charter, he said. At the end of the day, our charter schools are not subject to the same amount of accountability. But what you do want to make sure is that charter schools work by the same rules, Gutierrez said.therivardreport.com
Monday Is the Last Day to Register to Vote in March Primary
Heads up, Bexar County: The deadline to register to vote in the March primaries is Monday, Feb. 3. Read on for more information on how to register to vote. Voters are no longer confined to specific precincts on election day, and can vote at any Bexar County polling location on March 3. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the elections department 11 days before election day, which is March 3. Primary voters can ask for either a Republican or Democratic ballot, but can vote only for candidates in that party if a runoff results.therivardreport.com
Senator Flores on redistricting committee
That data is crucial to a subsequent decennial event: legislative redistricting. This summer, I was appointed to the Texas Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. Next year, the Redistricting Committee will travel around the state, holding field hearings to allow the public to speak before the committee and share any comments or concerns. As always, feel free to call my Capitol office or District office near you with any questions, comments, or concerns. Sen. Pete Flores is a Republican Texas Senator representing Senate District 19.uvaldeleadernews.com
San Antonio's Xochil Pea Rodriguez Is a Congressmans Daughter in Political Bloom
Whats more, her uncle and godfather, Sergio Chico Rodriguez, has been Precinct 1s county commissioner since 2005.So, the campaign trail was quite literally her childhood playground. My dad came to all of my plays, even when he was going up to Congress.At 37, Pea Rodriguez hopes to build on that background and catalyze the changing face of power in District 19. You get a different kind of reception when youre walking through a store, when youre driving and you get pulled over. No matter what family youre born into. Sparks flew, and weve been together ever since.Coincidentally, Pea Rodriguez and her husband, both native San Antonians, were born on the same day and the same year.sacurrent.com