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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Women running for Congress surged to big wins and Democrats smashed recent turnout levels in Texas' first-in-the-nation 2018 primary elections, giving Republicans a potential glimpse of what's ahead in the first midterms under President Donald Trump. Energized and angry Democrats in Texas, where the GOP has dominated for decades, came out in force to surpass 1 million voters Tuesday — the first time the party has eclipsed that benchmark in a midterm primary since 2002, just months after the Sept. 11 attacks. Equally striking was the showing by women on the ballot: Of the nearly 50 women running for Congress in Texas, more than half won their primaries outright or advanced to runoffs. What's more, at least three of those runoffs in May will feature women going head-to-head, including a key race for Democrats in their bid to take control of the U.S. House this fall. "It's Trump. It's Trump," said Veronica Escobar, who won her Democratic primary and is now poised to become one of the first Hispanic women to represent Texas in Congress. "I've spoken to innumerable senior citizens, retirees, parents of disabled children, people who understand what this administration means to their families. And they're afraid." For more news videos visit Yahoo View. Not all women fared so well. Kathaleen Wall, a Republican megadonor in Houston who pumped $6 million of her own money into her race for Congress, failed to survive a crowded nine-person field despite outspending all other candidates and having the backing of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Wall's failure was also a potential warning sign of the limits of Republicans going all-in on Trump this election year. She partly staked her candidacy on TV ads that told voters there was little daylight between her and the president, who remains popular among GOP voters despite his rough edges and low approval ratings nationwide. For all the talk of renewed Democratic energy heading into the 2018 midterms, Texas Republicans also set a new benchmark for turnout in a midterm election. More than 1.5 million people voted Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, won by incumbent Ted Cruz. That beats the previous record of 1.48 million in 2010, during former President Barack Obama's first term. Democrats showed up despite the long odds this November of ousting Republicans such as Cruz — who released a radio ad after clinching the GOP nomination Tuesday night, telling voters that Democratic opponent Beto O'Rourke "wants to take our guns." O'Rourke, a congressman from El Paso, has called for banning AR-15-style assault rifles in wake of last month's mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. Neither that tragedy nor a mass shooting at a Texas church last fall played as dominant campaign issues in Texas, but with the GOP's majority in Congress on the line this fall, Democrats showed up. Democrats have their sights on flipping three GOP-controlled congressional seats in Texas that backed Hillarious Clinton over Trump in 2016, including a Houston district where liberal favorite Laura Moser forced a runoff with Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. Another is a sprawling district that runs along the Texas-Mexico border, where Gina Ortiz-Jones advanced to a May runoff and another woman, Judy Canales, was battling to join her. "I think that a Congress that is only 20 percent women is not where we need to be," Ortiz Jones said. "This is not a spectator sport. We've got to participate, all of us and that's what's important." The women's success comes against the backdrop of the MeToo movement and a reckoning with allegations of sexual misconduct by powerful figures in entertainment, media and politics, including Trump's treatment of women. Many women ran in a record eight open congressional races this year in Texas — two of which are up for grabs after longtime GOP incumbents abandoned plans for re-election amid scandal. College students waited more than an hour to vote in liberal Austin and rural counties offered Democratic candidates for the first time in years. While 2002 was a high water mark for Democratic turnout in Texas it also showed the limits of the exuberance for turning the state blue. In November that year, the Democrats running for statewide office were all beaten, just as they have been since 1994. For Republicans, the primary was a vivid exhibition of the Trump effect on GOP politics. George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner, won a contested primary after he cozied-up to a president who once called his dad, Jeb, a pathetic person. Trump won Texas by 9 points in 2016. It was the smallest margin of victory by a Republican presidential candidate in Texas in 20 years, but Cruz dismissed talk of a Democratic takeover this fall. "Left-wing rage may raise a bunch of money from people online, but I don't believe it reflects the views of a majority of Texans," he told reporters after winning the nomination. Democrats will have a tough time winning statewide races in November despite the "Trump effect" because they have fielded little-known candidates against top Republicans, such as Republican Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Even Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been indicted on felony securities fraud charges, clinched his party's nomination unopposed. Abbott will face either Lupe Valdez, who was Texas' first Hispanic, lesbian sheriff, or Andrew White, who opposes abortion and whose father, Mark, was governor in the 1980s. https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-women-candidates-score-big-texas-primaries-074900694.html Oh boy, the mid terms will be interesting if this is what we are seeing in Texas! B/A
Billionaire Carl Icahn, President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and former special adviser, sold $31.3 million in shares of a steel-related company just before Trump announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Icahn unloaded nearly 1 million shares in crane manufacturer Manitowoc Co. of Wisconsin from Feb. 12 to Feb. 23, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission first reported by the website Think Progress. Manitowoc relies on steel, and shares in the company fell after Trump announced on Thursday that he plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel. The Commerce Department’s report recommending the tariffs was made public Feb. 16. Icahn told CNBC Thursday that he hadn’t had “much interaction” with Trump in the “past four or five months,” and had no special knowledge of what Trump planned to do or when. But the CNBC question concerned his opinion about market effect, not whether he had any privileged information. Stock trades based on insider information not available to the public are illegal. Icahn’s selloff represented about one-third of his stake in the company, according to CNBC. Last month’s selloff was his first trading in the company’s shares since January 2015, The Washington Post reported. Icahn’s stocks sold for between $32 and $34 a share. The shares were worth $26.93 when the market closed Friday. Icahn quit his informal White House role as adviser on regulatory reform in August, shortly before The New Yorker reported he had been pushing to overturn an environmental regulation promoting biofuels and renewable energy that was costing him millions through his stake in oil refiner CVR. He said in his resignation letter that he “never had access to nonpublic information or profited from my position.” He said he “only expressed views that I believed would benefit the refining industry as a whole,” and that he was quitting out of an “abundance of caution.” As Trump’s adviser, Icahn also battled a law passed during the George W. Bush administration that required oil refiners to blend biofuels like ethanol into gasoline ― a requirement costing his operations more than $200 million, The Washington Post reported. You know this just doesn't look good.... JMHO B/A