As Primaries Approach, Many Candidates Of Both Parties Vie For Open Congressional Seats

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningFebruary 2, 2018 3:20 pm, , , ,

Time for the week that was in Texas politics with Aman Batheja, political editor of the Texas Tribune.

The last day to register to vote in the Texas primaries is coming up. People who need to find out whether they need to register they can go to They can also check with their local election office. Monday is the deadline to check registration status.

Texas congressional races look to be the most contentious in the primary. Eight members of Congress are not running for reelection. Many of them delayed decisions about whether to run very late in the game, causing a scramble for candidates to replace them.

“In Lamar Smith’s district there are 18 Republicans,” Batheja says. “So, there’s an assumption there’s going to be a runoff if no one hits 50 percent. Can you get the runoff with 9 percent of the vote? Maybe.”

Campaign finance reports show the U.S. Senate race will be an expensive one.

“Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz both had to report their campaign finances for the fourth quarter of last year,” Batheja says. “O’Rourke raised $2.4 million to Cruz’s $1.9 million, which is pretty impressive. You don’t hear that a lot from statewide Democrats.”

This week the Tribune reported strange connection between the Texas General Land Office and a Harvey relief contractor.

“On October 30, George P. Bush’s General Land Office signed a $13.4 million contract with a company called Horne LLP for Harvey disaster recovery services,” Betheja says. “Three days later, George P. Bush’s campaign account received $27,500 in campaign funds from Horne LLP executives. The General Land Office says there was no connection it was just a coincidence. Obviously, critics are pretty upset.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.