State of Texas: Candidates drop out and shake up the primary election

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Kamala Harris was one of the top Democrats running for President this summer, but earlier this week she announced she would be dropping out of the presidential election.

Trouble with fundraising and division within her campaign resulted in the Wednesday announcement.

“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign,” Harris said in an email to supporters. “And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete. In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.”

Texan Democrat Julian Castro, who is sill in the race, took to Twitter to support Harris and criticize the unfair coverage of candidates of color.

“As a child of immigrants, she’s been a lifelong fighter for opportunity and justice for all Americans, and I’m glad she’ll keep fighting for an America where everyone counts,” Castro said in a tweet.

Castro’s campaign reported having their best fundraising day of the quarter after he made those statements on twitter.

Bloomberg’s expensive run for the White House

Michael Bloomberg announced his presidential campaign in late November. Since then, he has spent more than $50 million nationwide on T.V. ads. $4 million of those ads are airing in Texas.

However, there are people who are not happy with the amount of money spent on ads. Castro has criticized Bloomberg for trying to buy his way in

“Ten months in Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is jumping in the race to use his personal fortune to try and buy the nomination,” Castro wrote in a fundraising email. “We don’t need another ego-driven billionaire flooding the airwaves. We know your support isn’t for sale.”

Bloomberg’s Senior Adviser Tim O’Brien said there is a long tradition of people with resources running for the presidency.

Democratic Presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg during remarks to the media at the Hilton Hotel on his first campaign stop in Norfolk, Va. Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Tiernan)

“From George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt to John Kennedy and the notion that someone shouldn’t enter a race simply because they’re wealthy I think cuts the conversation needlessly short,” O’Brien said.

Bloomberg has already pledged more than $15 million to register new voters and get them to vote. A large chunk of the money will go to Texas.

O’Brien said Bloomberg already considers this race a general election – taking on President Trump directly.

“I think he feels like there is a broad swath of Americans who feel at sea, and are worried about being able to coalesce and unite the party and take on Donald Trump,” O’Brien said.

Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas, said Texas voters might not sway because of the ads alone, but they are listening

“We will have to see how he plays out on the rest of the issues,” Espinoza said. “Where do you stand on voting rights. Where do you stand on reproductive rights. Where do you stand on healthcare and climate change. Those are going to be critical issues in this primary.”

Rick Miller’s racist comment ends re-election campaign

Texas House Republican Rick Miller made comments about his opponents during a Houston Chronicle interview that sparked a chain of events causing him to announce the end of his re-election campaign.

He told the Houston Chronicle that his two competitors, Jacey Jetton and Leonard Chan, were running just because they were Asian.

“(Jacey Jetton) has decided because, because he is an Asian that my district might need an Asian to win,” Miller told the Houston Chronicle. “And that’s kind of racist in my mind, but anyway, that’s not necessary, at least not yet.”

After his comments were published he received backlash from fellow Republicans, and Governor Greg Abbott pulled his endorsement.

Miller represents District 26 which includes most of Fort Bend County. About 20% of the population is Asian.

Rick Miller_119227

It had been a Republican stronghold, but in 2018, Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz by a narrow margin in this county. The population is changing and Democrats are trying to gain ground

Texas Tribune reporter Ross Ramsey said they are seeing Republicans becoming sensitive to a changing election.

“And if you’re in a place like Fort Bend County, Republican voters no matter what the voters background and demographics are,” Ramsey said. “And Rick Miller found that out the hard way.”

Miller apologized for his statements saying he used a “poor choice of words” that did not reflect his character. He also said he will end his re-election campaign because he did not want to be a distraction to the party.

Chris Bell’s race for U.S. Senate

Former Congressman Chris Bell is one of the many Democratic candidates running to unseat John Cornyn for the U.S. Senate.

While he is just outside of the top five, he is the Democratic candidate most voters have heard of, according to a University of Texas and Texas Tribune poll.

Bell said he can’t stand the the direction the country is headed, so he wants to take it back, and that is one of the main reasons he’s running.

“I think in order to accomplish that it’s going to take individuals with experience to run against John Cornyn and be able to take him down,” Bell said. “I think Texas deserves better leadership.”

Texas is one of the worst states when it comes to healthcare. Bell said he wants Medicare for all and for people to have the choice to choose. He said when it comes to paying for Medicare, it depends where the economy is.

Credit: Chris Bell’s Twitter

“I think there are a lot of other ways to increase revenue for the United States,” Bell said. “Whether we’re going to have to look at some kind of wealth tax to have wealthier individuals pay their fair share, I think all of those things are going to be on the table.”

Bell is also a supporter of stricter gun laws. He said he supports universal background checks, red flag laws and a mandatory buyback program.

“I think people should be compensated for those weapons because they bought them lawfully, but we don’t need weapons of war in the hands of citizens,” Bell said.

Bell talked about incumbent John Cornyn’s disapproval ratings. He said experience will be a key factor in this race.

“I think it’s going to take somebody with Congressional experience who’s run statewide before to take him on and take him down,” Bell said.

The race for District 21

Republican Congressman Chip Roy and former Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis both filed to get on the ballot in District 21.

Roy is currently serving his first term in the position. He said his children inspired him to run.

“I believe we’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime to have the greatest future for our kids and grandkids if we actually go execute on it,” Roy said. But he added that divisions in Congress have made it difficult to get things done.

“The American people deserve a Congress that is working for them,” Roy said. “Working to reduce the price of healthcare. Working to secure the border. Working to balance the budget.”

The district, which covers parts of Austin, San Antonio and Hill Country, has been dominated by Republicans for decades. However, Democrat Joseph Kopser came within three points of Roy in the 2018 election.

Davis is well known for her 2013 filibuster to stall anti-abortion legislation. She also ran and lost a bid for Governor in 2014.

Davis said as a grandmother to 3 and 1 year-old granddaughters, she knows how people around the state feel.

“I feel as so many people are feeling that the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before,” Davis said.

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