Columns

Thu
31
May

Valdez wins race to face Abbott in November gubernatorial election

By ED STERLING

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez defeated Houston businessman Andrew White, the son of the late former governor, Mark White, in the May 22 Texas Democratic Party primary runoff.

Valdez, the first Latina to win a gubernatorial primary in Texas, will run against incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who is seeking a second four-year term, in the November 6 general election.

Valdez garnered 230,467 votes, or 53.32 percent of the total vote, to White’s 201,713 votes, which came to 46.67 percent. Historically, this was the lowest recorded turnout for a Texas Democratic Party gubernatorial runoff. Only 2.83 percent of the state’s 15,249,541 registered voters cast a ballot.

 

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Thu
24
May

Showing appreciation for law enforcement

By WILL HURD

During the nine-and-a-half years I spent as an undercover officer in the CIA, I worked alongside my colleagues in the intelligence community, the diplomatic corps, and the military to prevent another terrorist attack like our nation experienced on September 11, 2001. While we were fighting this battle on the international stage, the brave men and women at police departments across the country were working hard to detect and prevent terrorist activities at home. Their job has become even more difficult and important as the threat has shifted from large-scale assaults perpetrated by international terrorist organizations to “lone wolf” attacks in crowded venues or on city streets.

Thu
24
May

Governor speaks about issues related to shooting at high school

By ED STERLING

Local, state and federal law enforcement on May 18 responded to a shooting that left 10 people dead and 10 others injured at Santa Fe High School near Galveston.

One of the school’s 1,400 students was taken into custody, authorities said.

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered flags to halfstaff until May 22 in memory of those who lost their lives in what he called “probably the worst disaster to strike this community.”

During a news conference at the high school, Abbott said he plans to work with members of the Texas Legislature and with educators, parents and students across Texas “on swift solutions to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.” He mentioned background checks and “strategies to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose an immediate danger to others.” He also suggested more safety personnel and mental health intervention capabilities on school campuses.

 

Thu
17
May

Paxton requests federal funding for women’s health program

By ED STERLING

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week asked two federal agencies to move quickly to fund the state’s Healthy Texas Women program.

The program was cut off from Medicaid funding by the Obama administration in 2012 after the Texas Legislature enacted a law preventing taxpayer money from going to abortion providers.

 

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Thu
17
May

Weather Whys

Funnel cloud or tornado?

Is there a difference between a funnel cloud and a tornado? It’s all in the timing, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University.

A funnel cloud is a powerful twisting mass of air stretching down from a thunderstorm, but it has not yet touched the ground, McRoberts says.

 

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Thu
10
May

Paxton leads multi-state lawsuit challenging DACA program

By ED STERLING

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 1 filed a lawsuit against the federal government to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia joined Paxton in the lawsuit. 

 

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Thu
10
May

The call to serve

By WILL HURD

Those who have answered the call to serve our country can be found all across the 23rd District of Texas. From Fort Bliss at the western edge to Joint Base San Antonio in the East and Laughlin Air Force Base down South, it is a continuous source of pride for me to represent the more than 4,600 active-duty military and 45,000 military veterans in the 29 counties and two time zones of the 23rd District.

As we celebrate Military Appreciation Month throughout May, I encourage each of you to thank service members you meet and perhaps answer a call of your own to give back to those who have given so much to us.

 

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Thu
03
May

Abbott urges local officials to apply for Harvey funds

By ED STERLING

Mayors, county judges and emergency management officials in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey received letters last week from Gov. Greg Abbott, urging them to take advantage of available funding.

Some $500 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program are available now, Abbott said. These funds are in addition to the more than $10 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds approved by Congress and awarded to Texas earlier this year.

“The hazard mitigation funds available today can provide immediate relief and resiliency to your community,” Abbott wrote. “As of today, the Texas Department of Emergency Management has received only seven complete applications from the entire region impacted by Hurricane Harvey. That means hundreds of millions of dollars that are available to Texas communities today are not being put to use.”

Thu
03
May

Find your park in Tx-23

By WILL HURD

What do I think of when I think of summer vacation? A jellyfish sting.

I wish I could say I am kidding, but thoughts of a summer vacation vividly bring me back to my only family vacation as a child, where I had an unfortunate encounter with a jellyfish on the Texas coast. It wasn’t until I began serving as your Representative that I learned about the natural treasures we have here in our backyard.

From the UNESCO-recognized San Antonio Missions to beautiful Big Bend, I have the distinct honor of representing a district that is home to eight incredible National Parks and Historic Sites.

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Thu
26
Apr

Our farmers and families win with NAFTA

By WILL HURD

National Agriculture Week was celebrated in March and we in the 23rd District of Texas are certainly grateful for the hard work of farmers and ranchers year-round. Folks in the agriculture industry toil around the clock to produce goods that we consume every day from the clothes on our backs to the food on our tables. The industry supports more than 3.75 million Texas jobs paying $160 billion in wages and we simply cannot overstate its importance on our economy.

Many folks aren’t aware of the benefits of trade for Texas agriculture. In 2016, Texas exported $11.3 billion in total food and agriculture goods, and more than 40 percent went to NAFTA partners. While there’s no question that we need to modernize NAFTA to account for evolving industries and emerging technology, however, scrapping the deal altogether would be particularly harmful for Texas farmers and ranchers.

 

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