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Stories about Texas

Fort Worth voters renew sales tax for the Crime Control and Prevention District

According to unofficial election night results, Fort Worth voters approved a 0.5% sales tax renewal for the Crime Control and Prevention District with 64% of the vote on July 14. The measure also continued the existence of the district. The district and the tax were set to expire on September 30, 2020, but will now be extended for 10 years.
The Crime Control and Prevention District and the 0.5% special sales tax were first approved by voters in 1995. Fort Worth voters have renewed the Crime Control and Prevention District sales tax four times with approval of more than 75% of voters. The last vote on the tax was in 2014. For fiscal year 2019, the 0.5% sales tax generated $78 million in revenue.
The Fort Worth City Council serves as the board of directors for the Crime Control and Prevention District. In support of the sales tax, Mayor Betsy Price (R) said, “If we don’t have this tax we don’t have the ability to take that roughly $80 million and shift a good bit of it into social services.”
U.S. Representative Marc Veasey (D) came out in opposition to renewing the tax. He said, “Whether you’re Conservative that lives in Tanglewood or a Democrat that lives in Stop Six, you should be very concerned about the fact that we’re spending this money with very little transparency and very little citizen oversight. It was supposed to be for a short amount of time, and it’s mushroomed into potentially a 35 year tax.”
The minimum sales tax rate in Fort Worth for 2020 was 8.25%.


Hegar wins Democratic primary runoff for Senate in Texas

M.J. Hegar defeated Royce West in the Democratic primary runoff for U.S. Senate in Texas. Hegar received 52% of the vote to West’s 48%.

Hegar’s endorsers included the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and End Citizens United. She is a former U.S. Army search and rescue and medevac pilot. Hegar ran for the U.S. House in Texas’ 31st District in 2018, losing to incumbent John Carter (R) 51% to 48%.

The Texas Working Families Party and several state House members endorsed West. West has served in the state House since 1992.

Incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R) is running for re-election. Democrats last won a statewide election in Texas in 1994. In the most recent U.S. Senate election, incumbent Ted Cruz (R) defeated then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) 51% to 48%.


Nehls defeats Wall in TX-22 Republican primary runoff

Troy Nehls defeated Kathaleen Wall in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. Nehls received 70% of the vote to Wall’s 30%.

The Houston Chronicle, SEAL PAC, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Nehls. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), the National Association for Gun Rights, and the Susan B. Anthony List endorsed Wall. According to campaign finance reports, Wall spent $2 million to Nehls’ $98,000 between April 1 and June 24.

Incumbent Pete Olson (R), who was first elected in 2008, did not seek re-election. Since 1979, Republicans have represented the district for all but two years, when Nick Lampson held the seat from 2007 to 2009. In 2018, Olson won re-election 51.4% to 46.5%. Major independent observers rate the 2020 general election as a toss-up or tilt Republican.


Imam defeats Eady Mann in Texas’ 31st Congressional District Democratic primary runoff

Donna Imam defeated Christine Eady Mann in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 31st Congressional District. Imam received 57% of the vote to Eady Mann’s 43%.

Imam, a computer engineer, received an endorsement from former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D), who said, “Imam is one of the most solutions-oriented candidates I’ve ever spoken to, which is no surprise as she’s an engineer and entrepreneur.”

Imam will face incumbent Rep. John Carter (R) in the general election. Carter has represented the 31st District since its creation in 2003. He most recently won re-election in 2018 over M.J. Hegar (D), receiving 51 percent of the vote to Hegar’s 48 percent, the first time a Democratic candidate had won over 40 percent of the vote in the district.


Valenzuela defeats Olson in TX-24 Democratic primary runoff

Candace Valenzuela defeated Kim Olson in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 24th Congressional District. Valenzuela received 60% of the vote to Olson’s 40%.

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro (D), U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), several members of the U.S. House, and multiple congressional caucus PACs endorsed Valenzuela, who served on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board. The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and multiple organizations supporting military veterans in politics endorsed Olson, a retired Air Force colonel.

In 2018, retiring incumbent Kenny Marchant (R) won re-election by three percentage points. Major independent observers rated the general election as a toss-up or tilt Republican.


Sessions defeats Swann in TX-17 Republican primary runoff

Pete Sessions defeated Renee Swann in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 17th Congressional District. Sessions received 54% of the vote to Swann’s 47%.

Sessions was a member of Congress from 1997 to 2019, representing Texas’ 32nd Congressional District (2003-2019) and Texas’ 5th Congressional District (1997-2003). He campaigned on his record and said he voted in support of Trump 98% of the time. Incumbent Rep. Bill Flores (R) endorsed Swann, citing her desire to work with President Trump and her stances on immigration and social issues. Swann’s campaign highlighted her experience in business and healthcare.

Flores won re-election by 15 percentage points in 2018. Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Republican or safe Republican.


Garza defeats incumbent Moore in Travis County, Texas, District Attorney runoff

José Garza defeated incumbent Margaret Moore in the Democratic primary runoff for Travis County District Attorney in Texas. Garza received 68% of the vote to Moore’s 32%.

The race attracted national attention after Garza received endorsements from U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Moore was endorsed by the Austin American-Statesman and Austin Mayor Stephen Adler (D).


Jackson defeats Winegarner in TX-13 Republican primary runoff

Ronny Jackson defeated Josh Winegarner in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 13th Congressional District. As of 9:45 p.m. Central Time, Jackson had received 55.6% of the vote to Winegarner’s 44.4%, with 90% of precincts reporting.

President Donald Trump (R), U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Jackson. Incumbent Rep. Mac Thornberry (R), who did not seek re-election, endorsed Winegarner, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Lance Gooden (R-Texas), and Kenny Marchant (R-Texas).

Thornberry, who was first elected in 1994, won his last election in 2018 by a margin of victory of 65 percentage points. Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Republican or safe Republican.



Jackson, Winegarner compete in TX-13 Republican primary runoff

Ronny Jackson and Josh Winegarner will compete in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 13th Congressional District on Tuesday, July 14. In the March 3 Republican primary, Winegarner received 38.8% of the vote to Jackson’s 19.9%.
President Donald Trump (R), U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Jackson. Jackson served as physician to the president for Presidents Barack Obama and Trump. Jackson said he would “bring influence and access to the district that is about to go away when the current representative of 26 years retires,” citing what he described as his “strong relationships with the Executive Office of the President … and most importantly President Trump.”
Incumbent Rep. Mac Thornberry (R), who is not seeking re-election, endorsed Winegarner, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Lance Gooden (R-Texas), and Kenny Marchant (R-Texas). Winegarner highlighted his personal background in the 13th District and said that he “knows first-hand the struggles of the farmers, ranchers, and small business owners who drive our economy.”
According to campaign finance reports, Jackson raised $492,000 and Winegarner raised $290,000 between April 1 and June 24.
Thornberry, who was first elected in 1994, won his last election in 2018 by a margin of victory of 65 percentage points. Major independent observers rate the general election as solid Republican or safe Republican.


Special election to be held for Texas State Senate District 14

A special election is being held on July 14 for District 14 of the Texas State Senate. Sarah Eckhardt (D), Eddie Rodriguez (D), Waller Thomas Burns II (R), Donald Zimmerman (R), Pat Dixon (L), and Jeff Ridgeway (I) are running in the special election.

The seat became vacant after the resignation of Kirk Watson (D) on April 30. Watson resigned from the state Senate to become the dean of the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs. Watson had represented the district since 2007. He last won re-election in 2018 with 72% of the vote in the general election.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 19-11 majority in the Texas State Senate with one vacancy. Texas has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Regularly scheduled elections are being held in 16 Texas State Senate districts in 2020. Primary runoffs are taking place on July 14. The general election will be held on November 3.

As of June, 48 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 25 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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