KRISTV.com http://www.kristv.com/ KRISTV.com Election Election en-us Copyright 2014, KRISTV.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 2 Sep 2014 14:09:54 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KRISTV.com http://www.kristv.com/ 144 25 Lieutenant Governor Candidates to Debate on Sept. 27th http://www.kristv.com/news/lieutenant-governor-candidates-to-debate-on-sept-27th/ http://www.kristv.com/news/lieutenant-governor-candidates-to-debate-on-sept-27th/ Election Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:12:31 AM Associated Press Lieutenant Governor Candidates to Debate on Sept. 27th

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick has agreed to participate in a September debate with his Democratic opponent for lieutenant governor, Leticia Van de Putte.

Patrick's campaign announced Wednesday that he'll debate his Senate colleague Sept. 27 for an hour-long event to be broadcast by KLRU-TV in Austin. It will be moderated by Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

But Van de Putte released a statement Wednesday calling Patrick a "coward" for agreeing to just one debate out of five she's proposed. She said a single debate "in front of a bunch of Austin insiders" isn't enough.

Patrick's campaign says he participated in numerous debates during the Republican primary and is working to establish a debate schedule in the coming months that doesn't conflict with ones involving the candidates for governor.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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David Loeb Not Running for Re-Election to City Council http://www.kristv.com/news/david-loeb-not-running-for-re-election-to-city-council/ http://www.kristv.com/news/david-loeb-not-running-for-re-election-to-city-council/ Election Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:29:39 PM David Loeb Not Running for Re-Election to City Council

CORPUS CHRISTI - City councilman at large David Loeb announced this morning he's not seeking re-election for a term that ends in January.

Loeb has served two 2-year terms on the council. He cites the increasing need for his presence in running the family business, Landlord Resources, and the fact that his family is growing with the birth of his daughter later this year.

"I could run again and continue to serve if I won but it wouldn't be to the standard I have set for myself," Loeb said in an emailed announcement.

 


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McComb Backs Away From Recount http://www.kristv.com/news/mccomb-backs-away-from-recount/ http://www.kristv.com/news/mccomb-backs-away-from-recount/ Election Mon, 9 Jun 2014 11:42:05 AM McComb Backs Away From Recount

CORPUS CHRISTI - It looks like Nueces County Commissioner Joe McComb is throwing in the towel.

McComb tells KRIS6 he's not going to ask for a recount of last month's runoff election, after all.

The flap started over some confusion with ballot boxes on election night, that led to questions on the final vote tally.

Challenger Brent Chesney won by 162 votes.

McComb says he met with county elections officials on Friday. He says he now believes a recount won't change the results.

 


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Madrigal Wins Party Nomination for County Court at Law No. 5 http://www.kristv.com/news/madrigal-wins-party-nomination-for-county-court-at-law-no-5/ http://www.kristv.com/news/madrigal-wins-party-nomination-for-county-court-at-law-no-5/ Election Wed, 28 May 2014 2:23:55 PM Madrigal Wins Party Nomination for County Court at Law No. 5

CORPUS CHRISTI - Melissa Madrigal was the clear winner in the race for Nueces County Court at Law 5.

She defeated Martha Huerta Quintanilla with more than 55 percent of the vote in Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff.

Madrigal is looking towards another victory this November when she goes up against Republican Timothy McCoy in the general election.

"I've worked there and I've always advocated for children. Its always been my dream to go back and I started my career there and I'd like to end my career there," says Madrigal.

 


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Commissioner McComb Asks for Recount of Primary Runoff Results http://www.kristv.com/news/commissioner-mccomb-asks-for-recount-of-primary-runoff-results/ http://www.kristv.com/news/commissioner-mccomb-asks-for-recount-of-primary-runoff-results/ Election Wed, 28 May 2014 1:41:02 PM Rick Spruill - rspruill@kristv.com Commissioner McComb Asks for Recount of Primary Runoff Results

CORPUS CHRISTI - Nueces County Commissioner Joe McComb wants a recount. Unofficial results have McComb losing to challenger, Brent Chesney, by 162 votes in last night's Republican primary runoff for McComb's Precinct 4 commissioner's seat.

Confusion over a couple of ballot boxes left McComb's camp questioning the results. This morning he emailed Nueces County Republican Party Chairman-in-waiting Mike Bergsma, requesting the recount.

But County Clerk Diana Barrera says a recount will probably not change the outcome.

"I don't see the likelihood that there would be," she told KRIS-6 this morning. "(That's) because what transpired last night was confusion not on the voting system but on the reporting module."

In layman's terms, Barrera is saying there was not a problem with the system that counts votes. The problem was with how the vote totals were shared on the county's real-time tabulation system, which is made available to the public on election night.

She says three Democratic precincts were ingested into the Republican reporting system. It changed only the number of precincts reporting, not the vote counts.

But McComb believes the problem created an inaccurate vote total.

A primary vote recount is managed by the party and paid for by the candidate requesting the recount. Barrera's elections staff will assist.

She says the cost won't be known until McComb and the party work out whether to do a manual recount or simply upload the electronic voting tabulations from each precinct.

Those are available on memory sticks, kept under lock and key at the Elections office.

Taxpayers don't pay for a recount. McComb's campaign will have to come up with the money.

The final vote canvass happens next week. Only then can a recount begin.

Barrera did not have an estimate on how long it might take. Only that with an election this small, it should not take too long.

 


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Primary Runoff Election Results http://www.kristv.com/news/primary-runoff-election-results-362469/ http://www.kristv.com/news/primary-runoff-election-results-362469/ Election Tue, 27 May 2014 6:02:23 PM Primary Runoff Election Results

Unofficial results from Nueces County and the Texas Secretary of State

CORPUS CHRISTI - It is a very important day for those politicians looking to beat opponents they didn't get the best of in the March primary.

The two big races in Corpus Christi were for County Court at Law #5 and Nueces County Commissioner Precinct 4.

Unofficial results from Nueces County show Brent Chesney won his primary runoff challenge of incumbent Joe McComb by 162 votes.

However, McComb has requested a recount in the race, citing some problems with the computers that handle the election in the County Clerk's office.

Since there is no Democrat challenger coming up in the November election, the winner will take the seat in the county commissioners court.

For local Democrats, Melissa Madrigal moves on to the November general election to face Republican Timothy McCoy in the race for County Court at Law #5. Madrigal defeated Martha Huerta Quintanilla by 405 votes, according to unofficial results from the county.

 

 


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Texas Runoff Vote May be End for Lt. Gov Dewhurst http://www.kristv.com/news/texas-runoff-vote-may-be-end-for-lt-gov-dewhurst/ http://www.kristv.com/news/texas-runoff-vote-may-be-end-for-lt-gov-dewhurst/ Election Tue, 27 May 2014 2:24:29 PM Associated Press Texas Runoff Vote May be End for Lt. Gov Dewhurst

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican voters appear ready to steer Texas even further to the right by backing tea party favorites over establishment candidates which could end the political career of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, one of the most powerful figures in Texas since 2002.

Despite spending $5 million of his own fortune on his campaign, Dewhurst has struggled to gain ground on state Sen. Dan Patrick, a fiery conservative talk radio host and founder of the Legislature's tea party caucus. Patrick has criticized Dewhurst - who presided over the Texas Senate - for not preventing Democratic Senator Wendy Davis' filibuster of a 2013 measure restricting abortion, which drew national attention and launched her run for governor.

A Patrick victory Tuesday would likely mean that a new face will occupy every statewide office in Texas next year when Gov. Rick Perry steps aside.

Republican nominations for four major offices - including attorney general and agriculture commissioner - and nearly a dozen statehouse seats will be settled after crowded primary battles in March resulted in a busy slate of runoffs.

With Texas Democrats again the underdogs in November, many tea party-aligned candidates favored to win Tuesday would be poised to pursue an aggressively conservative agenda that would likely include further spending cuts, expanded gun rights and more restrictions on abortion.

"We're supposed to be this very conservative state, and the people in Texas are, yet our Legislature doesn't always reflect that," said Republican Konni Burton, a tea party leader from Fort Worth who is running for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' state Senate seat. "We are going in a different direction than many states, but I don't think we're the only ones. We're probably just louder. We're Texans, right?"

Robert Wilkerson, a 65-year-old handyman in Aledo, near Fort Worth, said just after the polls opened Tuesday that he voted for Patrick because he thought Dewhurst was too "passive."

"David Dewhurst hasn't taken control," Wilkerson said. "He wouldn't get in the middle of anything, he would just kind of go along with the status quo and I think we need some changes."

In the Houston enclave of Bellaire, however, attorney Stephen Smith said he voted for Dewhurst again.

"His opponent is Dan Patrick. He is strictly into ideology and that doesn't have a place in this system," said Smith.

Early turnout was light Tuesday with voters trickling into polling sites as a storm moved across parts of the state, much like the primary in March when Dewhurst blamed rain for low turnout that had him finish a distant second. A flash flood watch was in effect until Tuesday evening for Houston, hometown to both Dewhurst and Patrick.

For Democrats, it's a less lively runoff. Voters will choose a token opponent to powerful Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. Democrats have spent much of the primary trying to dissuade their supporters from picking Kesha Rogers, who has called for impeaching President Barack Obama, and instead choose David Alameel of Dallas, who made millions with a chain of dental clinics.

Most attention and money has been directed at the Republican races.

Dewhurst has reached into his own pocket, trying to mount a comeback and shed accusations he's become too entrenched and moderate after 11 years in office. But Patrick has seemingly attracted more support - a $4 million haul of donations in the last two months - impressive even by Texas' lofty political fundraising standards.

"Time for a change, that's the main thing," said Peggy Summers, 80, of Lubbock, who voted for Patrick.

Summers is a fan of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and sees Patrick in the same mold.

Candidates have wooed GOP voters by saying Texas can do more to expand gun rights, further restrict access to abortion and increase police presence on the Texas-Mexico border to slow the flow of immigrants in the United States illegally.

Tea party-backed candidates have also admonished the Republican-controlled Legislature as being financially reckless while vowing to slash economic incentives they deride as corporate welfare.

Unlike in 2010 and 2012, tea party-backed candidates in Texas and elsewhere are dealing with a disappointing election year, particularly in congressional and U.S. Senate races. But when it comes to statewide races, many candidates are trying to emulate Cruz, a once little-known state solicitor general who upset Dewhurst for the 2012 U.S. Senate nomination.

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Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pauljweber

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Primary Runoffs Today http://www.kristv.com/news/primary-runoffs-today/ http://www.kristv.com/news/primary-runoffs-today/ Election Tue, 27 May 2014 5:49:38 AM Primary Runoffs Today

CORPUS CHRISTI - It is decision day for several state and local runoff races.

Here's a look at what voters will see on the Nueces County ballot.

In the Republican primary runoff, Brent Chesney faces incumbent Joe Mccomb, in the race for the Nueces County Commissioner, Precinct 4 seat. Whoever wins today, wins the seat in November.

For Democrats, there's a runoff in the race for Nueces County Court-at-Law number five.

Martha Huerta Quintanilla is running against Melissa Madrigal.

The winner, will face Republican Timothy Mccoy, in the November election.

 


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Early Voting Underway for Primary Runoff Election http://www.kristv.com/news/early-voting-underway-for-primary-runoff-election/ http://www.kristv.com/news/early-voting-underway-for-primary-runoff-election/ Election Mon, 19 May 2014 11:02:27 AM Ben Lloyd Early Voting Underway for Primary Runoff Election

CORPUS CHRISTI - Early voting is underway for the May 27th primary runoff election. Several state races are on the Nueces County ballot but there are also some local races that will be decided.

In the Democratic primary runoff, voters will cast ballots in the County Court at Law #5 race between Melissa Madrigal and Martha Huerta Quintanilla.

On the Republican side, voters will decide the winner of the County Commissioner Precinct 4 race between Brent Chesney and Joe McComb.

For more information visit our election page, including polling locations and the full ballot, click here.

 


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Potential Fine of $500 a Day for Political Signs http://www.kristv.com/news/potential-fine-of-500-a-day-for-political-signs/ http://www.kristv.com/news/potential-fine-of-500-a-day-for-political-signs/ Election Mon, 5 May 2014 4:51:41 PM Potential Fine of $500 a Day for Political Signs

CORPUS CHRISTI - According to city ordinance, if you're not a candidate in this month's runoff election then your political sign must be taken down.

The ordinance is designed to force candidates to remove the signs within 10 days of an election. The alternative is a $500 fine for each day of violation.

Until today, a sign for a Justice of the Peace candidate Eric Cantu stood strong on the corner of Everhart and Corona. He lost the election in mid-March. At $500 a day that's a total fine of $26,500.

KRIS 6 News contacted Cantu to ask about the sign and if he knew the potential fine he was facing. A few minutes later someone showed up to remove the sign.

Corpus Christi Captain David Blackmon, who oversees Code Enforcement, says they have other eyesores to tackle that look a lot worse than a candidates face on a poster.

"We prioritize. We enforce the ordinances that are the biggest concern to the public. And right now it's the high weeds, it's the dilapidated buildings," said Capt. Blackmon.

But, you would think the high fine would be reason enough to go after the political sign violators.

"The city keeps saying I'm short on money, I'm short on money. And they're not even trying to collect all this money," says concerned citizen Jack Gordy.

Capt. Blackmon says it's not that easy. He says the city doesn't get all the money from fines it issues. When it gets to court, Blackmon says a lot of times with small violations such as political signs judges will dismiss the fine and just give a warning instead. In the end wasting taxpayer money and time.

"So actually the city is coming out ahead and saving money because we're actually using an educational aspect and some common sense involved with this," said Capt. Blackmon.

Capt. Blackmon says no fines have been issued for political signs this year.

 


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Democrats Propose February Voting to Begin 2016 Race http://www.kristv.com/news/democrats-propose-february-voting-to-begin-2016-race/ http://www.kristv.com/news/democrats-propose-february-voting-to-begin-2016-race/ Election Fri, 2 May 2014 3:57:13 PM Democrats Propose February Voting to Begin 2016 Race

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democratic National Committee's rulemaking body is recommending a 2016 presidential voting schedule that begins with the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 and follows with voting that month in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Under that calendar, Iowa retains its first-to-vote status while New Hampshire continues to hold the nation's first primary. The full DNC is expected to decide on the details of the calendar in August.

The Democrats' rules and bylaws committee met Friday in Washington. Its proposed calendar sticks closely to the framework laid out by the Republican National Committee. The GOP plan allows for those four states to vote in February but doesn't specify dates.

Democrats recommended that the New Hampshire primary be held on Feb. 9, the Nevada caucuses no earlier than Feb. 20, and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27. Other states would be allowed to hold their contests from March 1 through the second Tuesday in June.

The recommendation hardly carves in stone the 2016 schedule. In the past two presidential election cycles, the major parties have scheduled the early contests for February but then allowed them to take place in January after such states as Florida and Michigan violated the party's rules and moved up their voting.

"You never know what you're going to get into in the pressure of an election season," committee co-chairman James Roosevelt Jr. said.

The committee discussed allowing people to participate without being physically present in Iowa's caucuses, the precinct-level political meetings held on a winter evening. Nothing on the issue was decided.

The Iowa caucuses, which have launched presidential voting for more than 30 years and are operated by the parties rather than state election officials, have come under increasing criticism because they include only those who attend a specific meeting. Democrats in the state are investigating whether the state party could allow more people to participate, including voters stationed out of state with the military or confined to hospitals or nursing homes.

"Our goal is to increase participation but maintain the spirit of the caucuses," Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan said.

The Democratic caucuses require participants to form groups of candidate supporters. Supporters of candidates who receive less than 15 percent support in an individual precinct disperse, giving other supporters the chance to argue for their support.

In 2008, Democrat Hillary Clinton complained after finishing in third place that the rules kept people who work nights from attending, although attendance more than doubled the previous high mark. In 2012, Republicans first declared Mitt Romney a very narrow winner, only to say two weeks later that Rick Santorum had won.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Pro-Clinton Super PAC Raises Almost $6M http://www.kristv.com/news/pro-clinton-super-pac-raises-almost-6m/ http://www.kristv.com/news/pro-clinton-super-pac-raises-almost-6m/ Election Thu, 10 Apr 2014 4:24:36 AM Pro-Clinton Super PAC Raises Almost $6M

WASHINGTON (AP) - A super PAC urging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president says it raised $1.7 million in the first three months of the year, almost all of it from small-dollar donors.

Ready for Hillary on Thursday said more than 22,000 new donors gave money to the self-designated Clinton support network between Jan. 1 and March 31. The average contribution was $53, and 98 percent of it was $100 or less.

Ready for Hillary has been collecting names of those who would support Clinton if she runs in 2016. The super PAC has been focused on building buzz by lining up donors, as others have done.

Since its launch, Ready for Hillary has raised $5.75 million.

The group is independent of a campaign Clinton would launch if she decides to run.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Supreme Court Voids Overall Campaign Donor Limits http://www.kristv.com/news/supreme-court-voids-overall-campaign-donor-limits/ http://www.kristv.com/news/supreme-court-voids-overall-campaign-donor-limits/ Election Wed, 2 Apr 2014 11:59:10 AM Supreme Court Voids Overall Campaign Donor Limits

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court further loosened the reins on political giving Wednesday, ruling that big campaign donors can dole out money to as many candidates and political committees as they want as long as they abide by limits on contributions to each individual campaign.

In a 5-4 vote won by conservative justices, the court struck down limits in federal law on the total amount of money a contributor can give to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

The decision wipes away the overall limit of $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. It will allow the wealthiest contributors to pour millions of dollars into candidate and party coffers, although those contributions will be subject to disclosure under federal law. Big donors, acting independently of candidates and parties, already can spend unlimited amounts on attacks ads and other campaign efforts that have played an increasingly important role in elections.

The justices left in place limits on individual contributions to each candidate for president or Congress, now $2,600 per election.

The court's conservative majority, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, continued its run of decisions back to 2007 rejecting campaign finance limits as violations of the First Amendment speech rights of contributors. The most notable among those rulings was the 2010 decision in Citizens United that lifted limits on independent spending by corporations and labor unions.

Roberts said the aggregate limits do not act to prevent corruption, the rationale the court has upheld as justifying contribution limits.

The overall limits "intrude without justification on a citizen's ability to exercise 'the most fundamental First Amendment activities,'" Roberts said, quoting from the court's seminal 1976 campaign finance ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.

Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the outcome of the case, but wrote separately to say that he would have gone further and wiped away all contribution limits.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the liberal dissenters, said that the court's conservatives had "eviscerated our nation's campaign finance laws" through Wednesday's ruling and the Citizens United case.

"If the court in Citizens United opened a door, today's decision we fear will open a floodgate," Breyer said in comments from the bench. "It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institution. It creates, we think, a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate's campaign."

Roberts said the dissenters' fears were overstated because other federal laws prohibit the circumvention of the individual limits and big donors are more likely to spend a lot of money independently in support of a favored candidate.

Reaction to the ruling generally followed party lines, with advocates of capping money in politics aligned with Democrats in opposition to the decision.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the Supreme Court decision "an important first step toward restoring the voice of candidates and party committees and a vindication for all those who support robust, transparent political discourse."

The GOP and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had argued that other decisions relaxing campaign finance rules had diminished the influence of political parties.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said, "This in itself is a small step, but another step on the road to ruination. It could lead to interpretations of the law that would result in the end of any fairness in the political system as we know it."

Congress enacted the limits in the wake of Watergate-era abuses to discourage big contributors from trying to buy legislative votes with their donations and to restore public confidence in the campaign finance system.

But in a series of rulings in recent years, the Roberts court has struck down provisions of federal law aimed at limiting the influence of big donors as unconstitutional curbs on free speech rights.

In the current case, Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover, Ala., the national Republican Party and Senate GOP leader McConnell challenged the overall limits on what contributors may give in a two-year federal election cycle. The limits for the current election cycle included a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to all candidates.

McCutcheon gave the symbolically significant amount of $1,776 to 15 candidates for Congress and wanted to give the same amount to 12 others. But doing so would have put him in violation of the cap.

Relatively few Americans play in the big leagues of political giving. Just under 650 donors contributed the maximum amount to candidates, PACs and parties in the last election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The court did not heed warnings from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. and advocates of campaign finance limits that donors would be able to funnel large amounts of money to a favored candidate in the absence of the overall limit.

The Republicans also called on the court to abandon its practice over nearly 40 years of evaluating limits on contributions less skeptically than restrictions on spending.

The differing levels of scrutiny have allowed the court to uphold most contribution limits, because of the potential for corruption when donors make large direct donations to candidates. At the same time, the court has found that independent spending does not pose the same risk of corruption and has applied a higher level of scrutiny to laws that seek to limit spending.

If the court were to drop the distinction between contributions and expenditures, even limits on contributions to individual candidates for Congress, currently $2,600 per election, would be threatened, said Fred Wertheimer, a longtime supporter of stringent campaign finance laws.

The case is McCutcheon v. FEC, 12-536.

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Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in Boston contributed to this report.

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Follow Mark Sherman on Twitter at: shermancourt

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Abbott's Goal: Break Bush Record for Hispanic Vote http://www.kristv.com/news/abbott-s-goal-break-bush-record-for-hispanic-vote/ http://www.kristv.com/news/abbott-s-goal-break-bush-record-for-hispanic-vote/ Election Thu, 6 Mar 2014 4:34:39 PM Abbott's Goal: Break Bush Record for Hispanic Vote

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Greg Abbott says he wants to make history and capture the largest percentage of Hispanic voters ever by a Republican in a Texas governor's race.

Abbott on Thursday began the general election phase of his campaign in Hidalgo County. That's one of several Texas border counties where rival Wendy Davis finished Ray Madrigal, an obscure challenger in this week's Democratic primary.

Abbott turned out even fewer voters in Hidalgo County than Davis, and declined comment on her numbers in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Texas attorney general says he's instead focused on attracting historic Hispanic support. Former Gov. George W. Bush is widely considered to have set the GOP mark during his re-election in 1998.

Some exit polling that year put Bush getting as much as 49 percent of Hispanic voters.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Republican Drama From Last Night's Election http://www.kristv.com/news/republican-drama-from-last-night-s-election/ http://www.kristv.com/news/republican-drama-from-last-night-s-election/ Election Wed, 5 Mar 2014 5:04:01 PM Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com Republican Drama From Last Night's Election

CORPUS CHRISTI - The republican's primary had a little more drama last night than the democrats, with interesting outcomes in several races.

Amongst other interesting results, here locally, two republican races got a good chunk of attention last night.

The race for 105th District Judge and the race for Precinct 4 County Commissioner.

In the race for the 105th, incumbent Angelica Hernandez lost to Nueces County Assistant District Attorney Jack Pulcher just a couple months after fighting through some controversy.

It was just a couple months ago, when Kleberg County District Attorney John Hubert filed a motion to recuse Angelica Hernandez from any and all felony cases in the county.

Hubert said he couldn't get a fair trial out of Hernandez.

And even though the motion got thrown out, political analyst Dr. Bob Bezdek, says a republican having issues with another republican, told voters all they needed to know.

"When you have a fellow republican from another county complaining about some of your actions, then that certainly does not leave a good taste in peoples' mouths," Bezdek says.

"And I've talked to a few attorneys who are not pleased with some of her behavior in the courtroom. I think they refer to that as judicial temperament," he added.

Then there's the hotly contested race for Precinct 4 County Commissioner, where Joe McComb and Brent Chesney are headed for a winner take all runoff election in May.

Bezdek says he was surprised to see a run off, thinking McComb would take the race.

"One of my sources indicated that because there was not much activity on the democratic side, that a certain number of democrats probably went over to vote for brent Chesney," Bezdek says.

Why did democrats do that? And why Chesney? The answer may be just because.

"Republicans did that for a number of years, and I think maybe some democrats are thinking it's payback time," Bezdek says.

Dr. Bezdek also said he was surprised by a couple other races, including one at the State level, the republican race for Leuitenant Governor.

In that race, incumbent David Dewhurst took second place to challenger Dan Patrick.

They are headed to a run off election as well.

 


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Texas Primary Leaves Tea Party Influence Unsettled http://www.kristv.com/news/texas-primary-leaves-tea-party-influence-unsettled/ http://www.kristv.com/news/texas-primary-leaves-tea-party-influence-unsettled/ Election Wed, 5 Mar 2014 10:36:16 AM Texas Primary Leaves Tea Party Influence Unsettled

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The first primary in what Republicans hope is a triumphant election year sent a message that U.S. Sen Ted Cruz and the tea party still wield considerable influence in one of the nation's most conservative states.

But to find out exactly how much, Texans will have to wait.

In a primary where an extraordinary number of statewide positions were up for grabs following Gov. Rick Perry's decision not to seek another term, some incumbent candidates successfully fought to beat back tea party challengers Tuesday. But several candidates who forced runoffs in May were either praised by the outspoken freshman senator, Cruz, or ran with his no-compromising swagger.

"In Texas, we will show the rest of the country what it means to be conservative," said GOP state Sen. Dan Patrick, who forced longtime Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst into a runoff, less than two years after Cruz beat Dewhurst in the Senate primary.

The primary was the first since Cruz barreled into the U.S. Senate in 2012 and yanked Republicans nationwide further right, and many watched results within Texas to see how strong his influence would be on the state's next generation of Republican leaders. Amid the Republican contests, however, is Wendy Davis, a rising star who has energized the state's Democratic base and is running for governor in November.

Davis, who catapulted to national political stardom last summer with a nearly 13-hour filibuster over abortion restrictions, vowed to topple two decades of GOP dominance in Texas. Though an underdog, she is the first female gubernatorial nominee in Texas since Ann Richards in 1994.

"I will be for all freedoms. Not just certain freedoms for certain people," Davis told supporters Tuesday night after formally securing the nomination, needling Republicans.

With Perry leaving the governor's mansion after 14 years, albeit mulling a second presidential run, Attorney General Greg Abbott coasted to the GOP nomination for the state's top job.

Warnings about Davis' star-making run for Texas governor dealt complacent conservatives a new reason to vote. So did a rare opportunity to select an entirely new stable of leaders.

Abbott, who only three weeks ago unapologetically campaigned with shock rocker Ted Nugent, never mentioned Davis in becoming the GOP's first new gubernatorial nominee other than Perry since George W. Bush in 1998.

"If you're looking for a way to get ahead, if you're looking for a way to succeed or elevate or advance yourself, then I'm your candidate," Abbott said.

Perry's decision to not seek re-election launched a stampede of 26 Republican candidates vying for six of Texas' top offices. Among them was George P. Bush, the 37-year-old nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who easily won the nomination for land commissioner in his political debut.

Not all tea party upstarts prevailed: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, two of the most powerful Texans in Washington, clobbered their longshot challengers. But others knocked out or were seriously threatening establishment Republicans in the statehouse, which in the past few years has already passed some of the most restrictive voter ID and abortion laws in the country.

Some candidates even started to mimic Cruz's unreserved style.

For Patrick, even some Republicans say he went too far this campaign by bemoaning an "invasion" of immigrants crossing into Texas. Cruz never backed Patrick but did call Sen. Ken Paxton, who's running for attorney general, a fighter against "Obamacare, voter ID and religious liberty." Paxton is now in a runoff.

Although Cruz made few public endorsements, among them was for Republican Konni Burton, who is running for Davis' state Senate seat and has followed Cruz's lead on various social issues.

Texas candidates willingly went along with Cruz and craved his endorsement.

But he was picky: Cornyn didn't even get the support of his fellow Texas senator, though he still routed Congressman Steve Stockman, who ran a bizarre campaign.

"I say they are not going far right enough," said Marlin Robinson, 56, after casting his primary ballot in Houston. "They need to go farther right as far as I'm concerned because I'm tired of this liberal crap that's running this country."

With Abbott and Davis advancing to the November ballot, the showdown is poised to become a record-shattering arm's race of fundraising in a Texas gubernatorial election.

Democrats set on breaking the nation's longest losing streak in races for statewide office, meanwhile, hoped a charismatic headliner in Davis would turn out long-dormant voters.

Her underdog campaign has raised $16 million so far behind a whopping 91,000 individual donors and big checks from abortion-rights groups.

"If people don't start supporting the Democratic Party and voting as a Democrat, instead of being a Democrat voting in the Republican primary, then we're never going to win races and we're never going to establish ourselves as a serious party here," said Janet Veal, 43, a student adviser at Texas Tech University who cast a ballot in Lubbock on Tuesday.

Some Texas GOP candidates pledged to further tighten some of the nation's strictest abortion laws and double down on the state's gay marriage ban - one of several state bans recently ruled unconstitutional by federal courts.

"I think we need to bolster the border security and get tougher on immigration," 38-year-old conservative Republican Glendon Paulk said after voting in Lubbock. "I'm all for people who come over here legally but the illegal immigrants, it doesn't make sense for them to get a break while we're working and having to pay taxes."

Frigid weather greeted some voters with a dangerous drive to the polls. Austin locations opened late because of icy conditions and extended voting for two hours. Turnout was light in many places, with election workers seen knitting or reading a newspaper in between voters' sporadic arrivals.

The last time Texas had so many open statewide seats was 2002, when Perry won his first full term. While Democrats ran mostly unopposed in their primaries, crowded fields in the Republican races also ended in runoffs for attorney general and agriculture commissioner.

Illinois holds the nation's next primary March 18, followed by a flood of state primaries in May and June.

___

Associated Press writers Will Weissert and Chris Tomlinson in Austin, Juan Carlos Llorca in El Paso, Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, and Ramit Plushnick-Masti and Michael Graczyk in Houston contributed to this report.

___

Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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March Primary Election Results http://www.kristv.com/news/march-primary-election-results/ http://www.kristv.com/news/march-primary-election-results/ Election Wed, 5 Mar 2014 10:35:01 AM March Primary Election Results

Results for races statewide, Nueces County, Kleberg County, Aransas County, San Patricio County, and Duval County.

Democrat Primary

CandidateVote CountVote PercentWinner
U.S. Senate Dem - Primary -- 8,742 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
David Alameel238,59947%
Kesha Rogers110,15422%
Maxey Marie Scherr89,73118%
Harry Kim45,3229%
Fjet Fjetland23,1705%
Governor Dem Primary -- 8,742 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
Wendy Davis432,02579%(X)
Ray Madrigal114,45521%
Railroad Commissioner Term Exp 2020 Dem - Primary -- 8,739 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
Steve Brown297,78364%(X)
Dale Henry168,04536%
Agriculture Commissioner Dem - Primary -- 8,739 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
Jim Hogan190,14039%
Kinky Friedman184,88138%
Hugh Fitzsimons114,93023%
Precinct Chair No. 115 Dem -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Isabel Noyola-Martin2742%
Mike Rendon2133%
John Morgan Stafford1625%
Precinct Chair No. 119 Dem -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Mary Jane Saenz7372%(X)
Leo Estrada2828%
148th District Judge Dem - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Augustin Rivera4,10755%(X)
Mark A. Gonzalez3,40945%
Justice of the Peace Pct 1 Pl 3 Dem - Primary -- 61 of 61 precincts reporting (100%)
Bobby Balderas1,83958%(X)
Eric J. Cantu1,30842%
Judge County Court No. 5 Dem - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Martha Huerta Quintanilla3,29844%
Melissa Madrigal2,60335%
Jackie Chapa1,58521%
Duval Co Justice of the Peace Pct 1 Dem - Primary -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
Geraldita L. Martinez56268%(X)
Jose 'Frankie' Briones26832%
Duval Co. Commissioner Pct 3 Dem - Primary -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
David O. Garza80678%(X)
David H. Carrillo23122%
Duval Co. Justice of the Peace Pct 2 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Annabel Chapa-Canales42153%(X)
Evelyn M. Garcia37947%
Duval Co. Justice of the Peace Pct 3 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Aida C. Estraca58857%(X)
Frank A. Vaelio Jr.43543%
Duval Co. Justice of the Peace Pct 4 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Josie L. Fernandez30232%
Saul U. Hinojosa23725%
Pedro V. Martinez Jr.22424%
Ricardo Canales16918%
Duval County Commissioner Pct 4 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Gilberto Uribe Jr.51455%(X)
Arnoldo Cantu41945%
Duval County Judge Democratic - Primary -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
Ricardo O. Carrillo1,92153%(X)
Roberto Elizondo1,68947%
Duval County Treasurer -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
Sylvia Lazo1,79151%(X)
Araceli Bernal Lichtenberger1,70549%
Kleberg County Commissioner Pct 4 - Dem Primary -- 14 of 14 precincts reporting (100%)
Romeo Lomas44660%(X)
Faustino Erebia Jr15821%
Adan Delarosa Jr14419%
Kleberg County Commissioner Pct 2 - Dem Primary -- 14 of 14 precincts reporting (100%)
Joe G. Hinojose32061%(X)
Sonny Alvarez11823%
Ruben C. Canales8316%
Kleberg County Court-at-Law - Dem Primary -- 14 of 14 precincts reporting (100%)
Lupita Mendoza1,26955%(X)
Delma Rios-Salazar1,02145%
Kleberg County Judge - Dem Primary -- 14 of 14 precincts reporting (100%)
Juan M. Escobar1,20553%(X)
Pete DeLaGarza1,05047%
Kleberg County Justice of the Peace Pct 2 - Dem Primary -- 14 of 14 precincts reporting (100%)
Carmen Cortez35970%(X)
Ramon Rodriguez15430%
Kleberg County Justice of the Peace Pct 4 - Dem Primary -- 14 of 14 precincts reporting (100%)
Esequiel DeLaPaz50166%(X)
Ofelia Gutierrez25434%
San Patricio Co Justice of the Peace Pct 5 - Dem Primary -- 25 of 25 precincts reporting (100%)
Nere Villarreal62044%
Laura Mejia Maxwell52637%
Ricky Roman27719%
San Patricio County Court-at-Law - Democrat Primary -- 25 of 25 precincts reporting (100%)
Melissa Franco de Gonzales1,63580%(X)
Richard D. Zapata42120%
Dem Proposition 1 - Reform Immigration -- 8,739 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
In Favor477,38486%(X)
Against74,67614%
Dem Proposition 2 - Living Wage -- 8,739 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
In Favor498,17789%(X)
Against60,89911%
Dem Proposition 3 - Expand Medicaid -- 8,739 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
In Favor495,60689%(X)
Against61,48911%
Dem Proposition 4 - Non-Discrimination -- 8,739 of 8,745 precincts reporting (100%)
In Favor487,98088%(X)
Against65,77212%



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Primary Election Results - 10:45pm http://www.kristv.com/news/primary-election-results-10-45pm/ http://www.kristv.com/news/primary-election-results-10-45pm/ Election Tue, 4 Mar 2014 7:14:49 PM Primary Election Results - 10:45pm

The Texas Primary election got off to a late start in parts of the state due to icy weather. Some polling places may be open late and delay complete results. Results contained below are from the Texas Secretary of State’s office and elections officials across the Coastal Bend.

Democrat Primary

CandidateVote CountVote PercentWinner
U.S. Senate Dem - Primary -- 5,840 of 8,745 precincts reporting (67%)
David Alameel251,70355%
Kesha Rogers87,42719%
Maxey Marie Scherr66,18514%
Harry Kim35,4968%
Fjet Fjetland18,2014%
Governor Dem Primary -- 5,740 of 8,745 precincts reporting (66%)
Wendy Davis340,49479%(X)
Ray Madrigal89,22921%
Railroad Commissioner Term Exp 2020 Dem - Primary -- 4,440 of 8,745 precincts reporting (51%)
Steve Brown213,33164%(X)
Dale Henry120,72136%
Agriculture Commissioner Dem - Primary -- 4,440 of 8,745 precincts reporting (51%)
Jim Hogan138,67540%
Kinky Friedman130,10637%
Hugh Fitzsimons80,91923%
Precinct Chair No. 115 Dem -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Isabel Noyola-Martin2742%
Mike Rendon2133%
John Morgan Stafford1625%
Precinct Chair No. 119 Dem -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Mary Jane Saenz7372%(X)
Leo Estrada2828%
148th District Judge Dem - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Augustin Rivera4,10755%(X)
Mark A. Gonzalez3,40945%
Justice of the Peace Pct 1 Pl 3 Dem - Primary -- 61 of 61 precincts reporting (100%)
Bobby Balderas1,83958%(X)
Eric J. Cantu1,30842%
Judge County Court No. 5 Dem - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Martha Huerta Quintanilla3,29844%
Melissa Madrigal2,60335%
Jackie Chapa1,58521%
Duval Co Justice of the Peace Pct 1 Dem - Primary -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
Geraldita L. Martinez56268%(X)
Jose 'Frankie' Briones26832%
Duval Co. Commissioner Pct 3 Dem - Primary -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
David O. Garza80678%(X)
David H. Carrillo23122%
Duval Co. Justice of the Peace Pct 2 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Annabel Chapa-Canales42153%
Evelyn M. Garcia37947%
Duval Co. Justice of the Peace Pct 3 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Aida C. Estraca58857%(X)
Frank A. Vaelio Jr.43543%
Duval Co. Justice of the Peace Pct 4 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Josie L. Fernandez30232%
Saul U. Hinojosa23725%
Pedro V. Martinez Jr.22424%
Ricardo Canales16918%
Duval County Commissioner Pct 4 Dem - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Gilberto Uribe Jr.51455%(X)
Arnoldo Cantu41945%
Duval County Judge Democratic - Primary -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
Ricardo O. Carrillo1,92153%(X)
Roberto Elizondo1,68947%
Duval County Treasurer -- 9 of 9 precincts reporting (100%)
Sylvia Lazo1,79151%
Araceli Bernal Lichtenberger1,70549%
Dem Proposition 1 - Reform Immigration -- 4,440 of 8,745 precincts reporting (51%)
In Favor337,77886%(X)
Against53,67414%
Dem Proposition 2 - Living Wage -- 4,440 of 8,745 precincts reporting (51%)
In Favor355,67589%(X)
Against42,77611%
Dem Proposition 3 - Expand Medicaid -- 4,440 of 8,745 precincts reporting (51%)
In Favor353,82989%(X)
Against43,86111%
Dem Proposition 4 - Non-Discrimination -- 4,440 of 8,745 precincts reporting (51%)
In Favor347,25988%(X)
Against47,31112%


Republican Primary

CandidateVote CountVote PercentWinner
U.S. Senate GOP - Primary -- 5,583 of 8,829 precincts reporting (63%)
John Cornyn557,32357%
Steve Stockman199,43120%
Dwayne Stovall112,63111%
Linda Vega40,7264%
Ken Cope28,0953%
Reid Reasor16,9092%
Chris Mapp19,3562%
Curt Cleaver10,1961%
Governor GOP - Primary -- 5,404 of 8,829 precincts reporting (61%)
Greg Abbott991,11191%(X)
Lisa Fritsch50,9735%
Miriam Martinez28,4063%
SECEDE Kilgore15,2371%
Lieutenant Governor GOP - Primary -- 5,181 of 8,829 precincts reporting (59%)
Dan Patrick444,26442%
David Dewhurst301,40328%
Todd Staples188,49318%
Jerry Patterson130,36612%
Attorney General GOP - Primary -- 5,181 of 8,829 precincts reporting (59%)
Ken Paxton448,02544%
Dan Branch340,97633%
Barry Smitherman231,87423%
Supreme Court Chief Justice GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Nathan Hecht518,27659%(X)
Robert Talton354,53641%
Supreme Court Place 6 GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Jeff Brown615,14872%(X)
Joe Pool238,07028%
Supreme Court Place 8 GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Phil Johnson540,10063%(X)
Sharon McCally313,73937%
Railroad Commissioner Term Exp 2020 GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Wayne Christian369,46842%
Ryan Sitton275,06831%
Becky Berger146,71617%
Malachi Boyuls86,94010%
Land Commissioner GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
George P. Bush702,49474%(X)
David Watts248,65126%
Agriculture Commissioner GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Sid Miller315,44636%
Tommy Merritt187,29221%
Eric Opiela140,76216%
Joe Cotten130,96715%
Allen Carnes109,18312%
Comptroller GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Glenn Hegar446,61949%
Harvey Hilderbran248,35427%
Debra Medina171,61919%
Raul Torres42,6105%
105th District Judge GOP - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Jack William Pulcher5,67353%(X)
Angelica E. Hernandez5,03147%
13th Ct of Criminal Appeals Pl 6 GOP - Primary -- 533 of 765 precincts reporting (70%)
Doug Norman20,89364%
Bradford M. Condit11,68736%
Judge County Court No. 5 GOP - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Timothy Jordan McCoy7,75982%(X)
Adam P. Rodrigue1,76118%
Nueces Co Comm Pct 4 GOP - Primary -- 20 of 20 precincts reporting (100%)
Brent Chesney2,57347%
Joe McComb2,09739%
Norm Baker76614%
Nueces Co Pct Chair No. 116 GOP - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Jackie S. Hodges11965%(X)
Kay Lund6535%
Nueces Co Pct Chair No. 124 GOP - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
C. Anne Bauman7452%(X)
Jason S. Whiteside6848%
Nueces Co Pct Chair No. 8 GOP - Primary -- 1 of 1 precincts reporting (100%)
Edward Lewis8357%(X)
Carmen Calderone Jr.6343%
Nueces Co. Chairman GOP - Primary -- 127 of 127 precincts reporting (100%)
Michael Bergsma7,12170%(X)
Richard Gomez3,05030%
Criminal Appeals Court Place 3 GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Bert Richardson505,60361%(X)
Barbara Walther321,60439%
Criminal Appeals Court Place 4 GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
Kevin Yeary450,08655%
Richard Davis227,99928%
Jani Jo Wood141,68817%
Criminal Appeals Court Place 9 GOP - Primary -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
David Newell420,00251%
Bud Kirkendall397,95449%
Aransas Co Court at Law Judge GOP - Primary -- 6 of 6 precincts reporting (100%)
Richard Bianchi1,71653%(X)
William Adams1,49547%
Aransas County Attorney GOP - Primary -- 6 of 6 precincts reporting (100%)
Kristen Barnedey Blanford2,07266%(X)
Steve Fisher1,07234%
GOP Proposition 1 - Religious Expression -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
In Favor969,99497%(X)
Against26,4493%
GOP Proposition 2 - Expand CHL Locations -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
In Favor859,48787%(X)
Against127,31713%
GOP Proposition 3 - End Franchise Tax -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
In Favor853,18289%(X)
Against110,26311%
GOP Proposition 4 - Welfare Drug Tests -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
In Favor949,84095%(X)
Against47,8085%
GOP Proposition 5 - Official Privileges -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
In Favor994,42899%(X)
Against6,4011%
GOP Proposition 6 - Repeal Obamacare -- 4,195 of 8,829 precincts reporting (48%)
In Favor929,52893%(X)
Against68,2157%


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Texas Polling Places Open Late Due to Cold Weather http://www.kristv.com/news/texas-polling-places-open-late-due-to-cold-weather/ http://www.kristv.com/news/texas-polling-places-open-late-due-to-cold-weather/ Election Tue, 4 Mar 2014 4:38:57 PM Texas Polling Places Open Late Due to Cold Weather

AUSTIN - The cold weather has had an impact on voting in some parts of Texas. Icy conditions forced Travis County officials to delay the opening of some polling sites until 11-am.

Election officials in the affected areas continue to monitor the weather. The Secretary of State's office has advised polling places that opened late to plan on staying open past 7 pm to allow adequate time for people to vote.

However, keeping polling places open after 7 pm will require a court order. The Secretary of State's office says it's working on that.

 


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Surprises, Runoffs Likely in Texas Primary Races http://www.kristv.com/news/surprises-runoffs-likely-in-texas-primary-races/ http://www.kristv.com/news/surprises-runoffs-likely-in-texas-primary-races/ Election Mon, 3 Mar 2014 4:28:02 PM Surprises, Runoffs Likely in Texas Primary Races

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry isn't on the ballot, but a new member of the Bush dynasty is. Wendy Davis can clinch a feat no woman has achieved in Texas since Ann Richards. Heavyweight Republicans are trying to survive, and a new voter ID law gets a major test.

Throw in a March blast of winter weather that could dampen turnout, and Texas' primary elections Tuesday figure to be anything but ordinary.

The results will begin the biggest reshuffling of state power in a decade. Although most of the competitive primary races are on the Republican side, Davis' bid for governor headlines a roster of underdog Democrats girding instead for the Nov. 4.

That's the only day that matters to Davis and Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott in the year's marquee showdown. Neither has a competitive primary, leaving Davis poised to become the first female gubernatorial nominee in Texas since Richards in 1994, and Abbott the first new GOP nominee after 14 years of Perry.

But a frigid forecast could leave voters with a dangerous - or at least dreary - drive to the polls. Meteorologist say freezing rain overnight Tuesday could sock Central Texas, the Houston area should be wary of elevated roads and a biting cold will be felt most everywhere.

"It doesn't take much when you're not used to winter weather," National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh said.

Unlike Davis and Abbott, few other Texas candidates have the luxury of uneventful primaries.

The conservative star power of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has GOP candidates - from local races to statewide offices - jostling farther right and wooing voters with vows to emulate Cruz's no-compromise style. Even U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, two of the state's most powerful Republicans, have spent money campaigning against longshot challengers who say the incumbents have grown moderate in Washington.

But changes are far more likely in Austin. Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost to Cruz for the Senate seat in 2012, appears headed for his first runoff in 11 years on the job.

Millions of dollars have been spent between Dewhurst and three prominent challengers: state Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. The race has been the nastiest and most competitive this primary season, with the four all taking aim at President Barack Obama in television ads when they're not sniping at each other.

Primary runoffs are set for May 27. Settling GOP nominations for attorney general, comptroller and agriculture commissioner may also have to wait until then.

"When there's a fair amount of negative out there it makes the electorate very unpredictable," Patterson said Monday. "You couldn't accurately poll it - or you could and that poll would be good for probably about four hours."

Noticeably absent this primary season has been Perry, who announced last summer he wouldn't seek re-election but continues mulling a 2016 run for president. The longest-serving governor in Texas history hasn't endorsed in major races or even heard his name mentioned much in campaigns by his fellow Republicans.

They've instead talked about the future of the Texas GOP, which is expected to include George P. Bush in a prominent role. The 37-year-old nephew of former President George W. Bush, and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is running for land commissioner.

"Help is on the way," Bush told supporters in El Paso on Monday. "After this primary season, we will go out there and fight the good fight."

For Democrats, who haven't won a statewide election in 20 years, the primary serves little but an early test of voter strength. A team of Obama campaign veterans launched the group Battleground Texas last year to give Democrats a chance and will watch turnout Tuesday to gauge their efforts so far.

Another race being closely watched Tuesday night involves U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, who at age 90 is the oldest member of Congress. Five GOP challengers are vying against him in an effort to deny him an 18th term.

Election administrators say the primary will be the first real test of the state's new voter ID law, which the Republican-controlled Legislature passed in 2011 but wasn't enacted until last summer amid legal challenges. No major problems or controversies flared when the law debuted in November during a low-turnout, off-year election.

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Associated Press Writers Will Weissert in Austin and Juan Carlos Llorca in El Paso contributed to this report.

___

Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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