TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Texas Democrats rely on voters of color to be competitive. So why are their top statewide candidates mostly white?
The GOP slate for statewide office includes two high-profile Latinos and two Black candidates who have previously held state or federal office. Republicans are making a play to be more competitive with voters of color as the state’s electorate grows more diverse.
With special session’s end looming, Texas Democrats and Republicans mull their next moves
Abbott has promised to call a second special session to pass the GOP’s priority voting bill, but the exact timing is uncertain. And House Democrats have not yet revealed what they have planned after the session ends this week.
Texas House Democrats and legislative staffers take Gov. Greg Abbott to court for defunding Legislature
The governor had vowed to veto the Legislature’s funding in the final hours of the regular legislative session in May after House Democrats broke quorum and left the chamber to prevent passage of a controversial elections bill.
Texas Democrats blame lack of in-person campaigning, inefficient voter outreach for 2020 disappointment
Texas Democrats failed to meet their expectations for the 2020 election. While Democrats had outpaced Republicans in registering voters, their willingness to campaign in person netted a late surge in new Republican voters. In addition, Texas Democrats contend that data suggesting a massive shift toward Republicans among Latino voters is more accurately explained by increased turnout among Republican Latinos. Despite an underwhelming performance in 2020, Texas Democrats continued to paint an ambitious picture of a “sustainably blue” state over the next 10 years. “The Texas GOP will continue to out-hustle the Texas Democrats in every election, it doesn't matter how much money from Hollywood and Manhattan they ship in."
Top two staffers at Texas Democratic Party to step down
The top two staffers at the Texas Democratic Party — executive director Manny Garcia and deputy executive director Cliff Walker — will leave their positions at the end of the month, they told The Texas Tribune in an interview. Their exits come two months after an election in which Texas Democrats underperformed expectations throughout the ballot, leading the state party to form a committee to do a "deep dive" on the losses. Some members of the State Democratic Executive Committee also called for Garcia and Walker to be replaced. The party chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa, said in a statement the party is "stronger than ever before" due to Garcia and Walker. Soon after the letter surfaced, more than 60 current and former party workers signed on to a separate letter backing Garcia and Walker.
Glitter Political: H. Drew Galloway cut his own path by encouraging young people to vote
click to enlarge Jade Esteban EsstradaIt’s an early Wednesday morning when H. Drew Galloway appears on my computer screen. Empower.“It was just me and a field organizer and a couple of fellows,” Galloway says of the group’s 2016 election season. It also employed 45 part-time organizers ahead of the 2020 election.“We’re in nine cities and over 65 campuses,” he says. “I think the great thing about working with young voters, particularly new voters, is that those voters are hopeful. “People like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez are making the path by walking it.sacurrent.com
What went wrong with Texas Democrats’ 2020 plans? State party leaders intend to find out.
Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. The head of the Texas Democratic Party has appointed a committee to take a "deep dive" on what went wrong in the November election after a group of executive committee members wrote to him demanding answers, reforms and a shakeup in senior staff. Texas Democrats severely underperformed expectations in the November election after looking to it as their best shot in decades at making inroads. The letter was organized by two SDEC members, Kendall Scudder and Jen Ramos. As for the party’s headquarters, Hinojosa wrote in his letter that he “strongly believes” the party should maintain a “storefront” office as it has in Austin.
The Mendoza Line: Texas Democrats startled to learn Republicans also voted in this election
click to enlarge Pexels / Element5 DigitalTexas Democratic Party officials said they were surprised to learn that Republican voters were also eligible for free stickers at the polls this election cycle. The blue wave his party hyped up pre-election crashed and burned like a wrong-way driver on San Antonio's Loop 410 at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday. "People were putting little blue wave emojis on their Twitter feeds. Instead, Texas remains as red as any other state with a long history of voter suppression. "Those dirty libs thought they were going to coast with our glorious Christian, pro-life, pro-family Fürher in the White House," Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West said.sacurrent.com
After 2018 wake-up call, Texas Republicans were ready to fight back this year
It was one of many bright spots Tuesday for Republicans in Texas — and an example of relatively reliable polling to boot. After Texas Republicans were caught sleeping two years ago, they say it was Democrats who walked into a buzzsaw this time — a more battle-ready, unified GOP. And Democrats’ hopes of flipping the Texas House collapsed, with the balance of power largely unchanged heading into January. That vigilance reassured Texas Republicans throughout the cycle, even as they wearily watched poll after poll come out showing Trump struggling in Texas. Like the DCCC, the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee was left Thursday touting its defense victories — the reelection of 11 out of 12 freshmen — and emphasizing the expensive battle they forced Republicans to fight.
Why Asian American voters in Texas may hold outsized importance in key races this year
Chen works on Asian American and Pacific Islander voter turnout every year, but this year she feels even more motivated. In Texas, there are sizable Asian American communities in districts that hold outsize importance this year. Asian Americans make up about 5% of the population and most statewide polls don’t contact enough Asian voters to provide a reliable sample. And it’s not just an existential type of attack, but the Asian American community, especially the Chinese American community, feels their lives are being threatened because they’re being singled out. “Most Asian American voters are naturalized citizens.
Texas Republicans blast Trump on conference call, urge GOP voters to cast ballots for Joe Biden
click to enlarge Courtesy Photo / Texas Democratic PartySeveral prominent Lone Star State Republicans joined in a call organized by the Texas Democratic Party to ask GOP voters to put country ahead of party and vote out President Donald Trump. He bristled at a reporter's question about whether a Biden presidency might hurt Texas' oil economy. "I had to laugh at the question, because how much worse could the oil economy be damaged [than under Trump]?" Voting straight Democrat ticket this cycle is the only way to send a wakeup call to the GOP to right the party, he added. "There needs to be a straight repudiation of this Republican Party in 2020," Dubois said.sacurrent.com
Senate Democrats' fundraising success puts GOP on defensive
(Bob Daemmrich/Nexstar/KXAN via AP, Pool)WASHINGTON – Buoyed by massive fundraising success, Democratic Senate candidates are mounting a push in Republican states that few would have thought possible just a few months ago, placing continued GOP control of the chamber at risk. MJ Hegar in Texas reported raising over $13 million during the same period for her race against Republican Sen. John Cornyn. In deep-red Kentucky, Amy McGrath has posted strong fundraising numbers against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In Mississippi, Mike Espy reported raising $4 million in his rematch against Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. O'Rourke was criticized for being too stingy with his cash, only reluctantly aiding other Democrats, though he eventually donated large amounts to the Texas Democratic Party.
Biden campaign to spend $6 million on Texas campaign ads, more than any Democratic presidential nominee in decades
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden spoke during a campaign stop in Dallas in March. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign is set to spend millions of dollars on TV ads in Texas as polls continue to show a close race in the state. That shows you just how important Texas is to them and it shows that Texas is in play,” said Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party. Though Biden and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have yet to visit Texas in the run-up to Election Day, Democrats have called for the duo to invest heavily in Texas. As speculation has swirled about the extent of Biden’s investment in the state, the Texas Democratic Party has been ramping up its advertising.
Biden campaign to spend $6 million on Texas campaign ads, more than any Democratic presidential nominee in decades
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign is set to spend millions of dollars on TV ads in Texas as polls continue to show a close race in the state. That shows you just how important Texas is to them and it shows that Texas is in play,” said Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party. Although Biden and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have yet to visit Texas in the run-up to Election Day, Democrats have called for the duo to invest heavily in Texas. “Democrats have historically failed to invest in Texas, despite the size of this prize, because they believed the door is closed to Democratic presidential candidates. As speculation has swirled about the extent of Biden’s investment in the state, the Texas Democratic Party has been ramping up its advertising.sacurrent.com
Federal court tosses suit brought by Texas Democrats seeking to revive straight-ticket voting
Super Tuesday voting lines at the Metropolitan Multi Service Center near downtown Houston on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Michael Stravato for The Texas TribuneA federal judge on Wednesday threw out Democrats effort to reinstate the straight-ticket voting option in Texas. Siding with the state, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo found that Democrats lacked standing to challenge Texas Republicans decision to kill straight-ticket voting ahead of the November general election. The judge dismissed the federal lawsuit after ruling that Democrats' claims of the electoral fallout that could come from eliminating straight-ticket voting were too speculative. And other Texans will experience shorter lines given that voters have been encouraged to steer clear from in-person voting where possible.
Texas Democrats ask U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on voting by mail
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneAfter a series of losses in state and federal courts, Texas Democrats are looking to the U.S. Supreme Court to expand voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. The Texas Democratic Party on Tuesday said it asked the high court to immediately lift the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' block on a sweeping ruling that would allow all Texas voters who are seeking to avoid becoming infecting at in-person polling places to instead vote by mail. The fight to expand who can qualify for a ballot they can fill at home and mail in has been on a trajectory toward the Supreme Court since Texas Democrats, civil rights groups and individual voters first challenged the state's rules months ago when the new coronavirus reached Texas. Under his order, voters under the age of 65 who would ordinarily not qualify for mail-in ballots would now be eligible. In their appeal, the Democrats are asking the Supreme Court to leave in place Biery's order and take up the case on the claim that the state's age restrictions for voting by mail violate the 26th Amendment's protections against voting restrictions that discriminate based on age.
Federal Appeals Court Temporarily Blocks Voting by Mail Expansion in Texas
A federal appeals court has temporarily put on hold a lower courts sweeping ruling that would have allowed all Texas voters to qualify to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. Siding with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday blocked a preliminary injunction issued just a day before by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery. Bierys ruling covered Texas voters who seek to vote by mail to avoid transmission of the virus under the age of 65 who would ordinarily not qualify for mail-in ballots. The appeals courts action reverts the state to existing qualifications that limit absentee ballots to voters who are 65 years or older. The case in Bierys court focused, in part, on whether the states age limitation violates the U.S. Constitution.therivardreport.com
Federal appeals court temporarily blocks voting by mail expansion in Texas
A federal appeals court has temporarily put on hold a lower courts sweeping ruling that would have allowed all Texas voters to qualify to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. Bierys ruling covered Texas voters "who seek to vote by mail to avoid transmission of the virus under the age of 65 who would ordinarily not qualify for mail-in ballots. The appeals courts action reverts the state to existing qualifications that limit absentee ballots to voters who are 65 years or older. The case in Bierys court focused, in part, on whether the states age limitation violates the U.S. Constitution. "Citizens should have the option to choose voting by letter carrier versus voting with disease carriers."
May 15 Hearing Set for Texas Vote-by-Mail Arguments
U.S. District Judge Fred Biery has ordered a hearing on expanding vote-by-mail to all Texas voters in advance of the July 14 Democratic Party runoff election, due to fears of coronavirus transmission should in-person voting be required. The hearing, set for 9 a.m. May 15, will allow only one lawyer and one staff person from each side of the case, essentially the Texas Democratic Party (TDP) vs. the State of Texas, to make their arguments. Current Texas rules for mail-in ballot eligibility stipulate that a voter must be age 65 or older, disabled, be out of the county on election day and during the early voting period, or be in jail but otherwise eligible. A lawsuit brought by the TDP against representatives of the State of Texas, Travis County, and Bexar County, including Gov. The State of Texas has appealed the ruling, stating that it is being asked to apply Texas Election Code in an unspecified geographic area and in its initial intervention claiming that responsibility for determining eligibility of mail-in ballot applications lies with clerks in each county.therivardreport.com
Texas Democrats Sue for Expansion of Mail-in Voting During Coronavirus Pandemic
In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Antonio, the Texas Democrats argue that holding traditional elections within state and federal safety guidelines attempting to limit spread of the new coronavirus pandemic would impose unconstitutional and illegal burdens on voters unless state law is clarified to expand voting by mail. Voting by mail is fairly limited in the state. In their lawsuit, the Democrats argue the advisory unhelpfully gave local election administrators no material guidance on who can qualify to vote by mail under the circumstances brought on by the pandemic. The federal case, they argued, would put the court in a position to act if state court rulings serve to harm the rights of voters or are delayed. The Democrats argued the high court served notice that challenges to alter voting methods or election procedures should be filed early.therivardreport.com
Texas Democrats Sue Gov. Abbott to Expand Mail-In Voting During Coronavirus Pandemic
Erik (HASH) Hersman via Flickr creative commonsThe Texas Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to force the state to expand vote-by-mail access during the coronavirus pandemic.The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Antonio, names Gov. "As we face the worst public health crisis in a century, neither Governor Abbott nor Secretary of State Hughs have issued concrete guidance to county election officials on whether voters can cast a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic," Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement. "Under current Texas rules, only a narrow strata of voters are allowed to use mail-in ballots. Abbott, a Republican, last month allowed municipalities to push back their May 2 elections to November, but hasn't appeared to warm to a vote-by-mail expansion.Texas Republicans have long opposed expanded mail-in voting and the introduction of online registration and same-day voter registration. The conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court voted Monday to reject the Democratic Governors decision to postpone those contests.sacurrent.com
Dems Target John Cornyn of Texas With New Ads About His Efforts to Overturn Affordable Care Act
The ads will also target his dismissal of paid sick leave for Texas workers.If John Cornyn had his way, millions more Texans would be without health insurance and Texas healthcare crisis would be even worse," said Abhi Rahman, communications director for the Texas Democrats. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. Its never been more important to support local news sources. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
San Antonio's Steve Allison Among GOP Members of Texas House Targeted by Democrats in November
The Texas Democratic Party and Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee on Monday released a fundraising memo revealing the 22 Texas House seats they've made a priority of flipping in November.The one held by Rep. Steve Allison, who represents a large swath of Northeast San Antonio, is among them.In 2018, Allison won the District 121 seat previously held by departing House Speaker Joe Straus with just 53% of the vote. Two other Democrats gun-control activist Becca Moyer DeFelice and former city planner Jack Guerra have also filed to run. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
Democrats Launch Texas' Largest-Ever Voter Drive to Flip the State Blue in 2020
Courtesy of Texas Democratic PartyVolunteers block walk San Antonio neighborhoods in support of Ray Lopez, the Democrat who recently won a Texas House seat in a special election. "Democrats aim to build on 2018 victories including picking up 12 seats in the Texas House and two in the Texas Senate by targeting unregistered voters receptive to their message. "Texas is a battleground state in places. And those places are the suburbs of the major cities of Texas," Jillson said.He added: "There are battles all over the state, particularly in U.S. House races, and Texas House and Senate races. There are battlegrounds all over the state, even if the state is not yet a battleground."sacurrent.com