Austin, Texas (AP)

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will meet with Democrat Beta O’Rourke after voters in Texas opened a long primary election season that could change political power from state capitals to Washington.

Both easily won their party’s nomination for governor on Tuesday. Ebat is now in a leadership position when he is running for a third term, starting with more than $ 50 million and campaigning under a conservative program in America’s largest republican state. This leaves O’Rourke before a difficult attempt to bring back the magic of his campaign to the 2018 Senate when he nearly toppled Ted Cruz.

“This group of people, and then some, will make me the first Democrat to become governor of Texas since 1994,” O’Rourke told supporters in Fort Worth, where in 2018 he overturned Texas ’largest red district. “It’s on us. It’s on all of us. “

Abbott said, “Republicans have sent a message.”

“They want Texas to hold on to the extraordinary opportunities we have provided over the past eight years,” his company said in a statement.

The Republican Party’s primaries for the post of Attorney General were more competitive. The approval of former President Donald Trump was not enough to prevent the participation of incumbent President Ken Paxton in May. He will face Texas land commissioner George P. Bush, nephew of one president and grandson of another, after none received a majority of the votes cast. Although Paxton garnered more votes than Bush on Tuesday, his inability to win a full victory could cast doubt on the strength of Trump’s support as he seeks to change the party in his image at other primaries later this year.

Democrats faced their own problems. US MP Henry Cuellar, who served nine terms, tried not to become the first member of Congress from the Democrats to lose the primaries this year. Instead, he will advance to the second round against progressive Jessica Cisneras.

The first season, which is gaining momentum in the summer, determines which candidates from each party will enter the autumn campaign. Ultimately, the deadlines will be a referendum on the first half of President Joe Biden’s administration, in which a pandemic that proved unpredictable, as well as rising inflation and a series of foreign policy crises. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is struggling with its future as many candidates seeking to withdraw from the primaries, including a significant number in Texas, associate themselves with Trump and his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

The state held its first election on Tuesday under new tougher voting laws, which, among other changes introduced by the Republican-controlled legislature, require postal ballots to include identification – a mandate that counts blame on thousands of rejected postal ballots. election day. More than 10,000 ballots in the mail in Houston alone were marked for non-compliance. Technical problems have also caused problems in Texas ’largest county: paper jams and paper tears in voting machines would take several days during the vote count, said Isabel Longoria, Harris County Election Administrator.

According to her, several polling stations in Houston also lacked staff, which caused tensions in some places.

“Democrats and Republicans are arguing with each other, stealing each other’s cars, hiding each other’s papers,” Longoria said. “In the end, they were able to help the voters.”

The primaries also tested Republicans’ efforts to take more aggressive care of Spanish-speaking voters. The counties along the state border with Mexico, which have long been a stronghold of Democrats, have been on track to reduce Republican turnout compared to the recent election.

It was the latest warning sign for Democrats trying to keep in line with Spanish-speaking voters who turned to Trump in 2020.

Republicans are betting that the Texas primaries will be the first step toward bringing Congress back in November, pointing to Biden’s low ratings, inflation and anger over the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Russia’s war with Ukraine could also have profound political consequences.

Monica Carter, who voted at a polling station in River Oaks, one of Houston’s wealthiest districts, voted in Republican primaries and said she believes crime growth in many parts of the country is “out of control.”

“The police force needs to be strengthened,” Carter, 66, said.

History is also on the side of the Republican Party. The party that controls the White House lost seats in Congress in the first intermediate race of every election cycle of this century, except 2002, after the 9/11 attacks.

However, the struggle for the future of the Republican Party is much tougher than 20 years ago.

For example, U.S. envoy Van Taylor of North Texas became a target for some right-wingers after he voted to confirm Biden’s election victory and set up an independent commission to investigate the Capitol uprising. The Republican was forced to go through a second round after facing four main contenders who largely refused to recognize Biden’s victory and tried to minimize the mob attack on the Capitol.

The National Democrats say Trump’s huge influence on the Republican Party and the economy, which is breaking away from the pandemic, could help them confront political precedents. However, disagreements between progressive and more tolerant wings in Congress helped doom Build Back Better, a broad, Biden-supported package of spending and social programs.

Cisneras is one of the Texas progressives who can ensure the nomination of Democratic candidates in the constituencies of the House of Representatives is blue enough for everyone, but to ensure that they go to Congress. The 28-year-old immigration lawyer who supports Medicare for All, Cisneras nearly toppled Cuellar during the 2020 Texas primaries.

Cisneras was backed by progressives, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York MP Alexandria Acacia-Cortes, who campaigned with her and Greg Casar, a member of the Austin City Council who championed a citywide minimum wage of $ 15 and won the prize money. . An open door place representing the capital of Texas.


Weissert reported from Washington. Associated Press authors Juan Lausanne of Houston, Jamie Stangle and Jake Blaiberg of Dallas, Acacia Coronado of Austin and Jill Colvin of New York contributed to this report.

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