It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune.
On Beto O’Rourke’s possible presidential bid:
Basically what has leaked out so far is that he is absolutely not going to challenge John Cornyn for Senate in 2020, and so in theory that leaves the door open to what many believe is going to be an announcement of a presidential bid. We also know that hometown girl, former congressional candidate M.J. Hegar has said she may run that race against John Cornyn, so he’s not scot-free.
On David Whitley’s chances of being confirmed as Texas secretary of state:
So we’re still very unclear on whether he’s going to eke it out or not, but basically a Senate committee had to consider whether to advance his nomination, his confirmation hearing. They voted finally after a couple weeks of pushing the buck. They voted him out by a very narrow margin, so now this will come to the full Senate for a vote. But again at this point, if the Democrats stick together, he does not have the votes he needs to get reconfirmed Secretary of State.
On lawmakers’ reactions to the recent Texas Open Meetings Act court decision:
Governor Greg Abbott basically said to local officials and state agencies, “Stay the course, keep following the letter of this law,” even though the law has been deemed off the books. I think you’re going to see some lawmakers try to push to reinstate a version of this legislation. Cities tend to not love these laws. They want to be able to do more of their business behind closed doors, and so I think the question they’re going to be pushing for is, “Hey, legislators, if you’re going to push for this kind of legislation, you better include yourselves in this legislation as well.”