Connect with us


Mike Johnson, a staunch Louisiana conservative, is elected House speaker



WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans unanimously elected Rep. Mike Johnson as House speaker on Wednesday, eagerly elevating a deeply conservative but lesser-known leader to the major seat of U.S. power and ending for now the weeks of political chaos in their majority.

Johnson, 51, of Louisiana, swept through on the first ballot with support from all Republicans anxious to put the past weeks of tumult behind and get on with the business of governing. He was quickly sworn into office, second in line to the presidency.

“The people’s House is back in business,” Johnson declared after taking the gavel.

A lower-ranked member of the House GOP leadership team, Johnson emerged as the fourth Republican nominee in what had become an almost absurd cycle of political infighting since Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as GOP factions jockeyed for power. While not the party’s top choice for the gavel, the deeply religious and even-keeled Johnson has few foes and an important GOP backer: Donald Trump.

“I think he’s gonna be a fantastic speaker,” Trump said Wednesday at the New York courthouse where the former president, who is now the Republican front-runner for president in 2024, is on trial over a lawsuit alleging business fraud.

Three weeks on without a House speaker, the Republicans have been wasting their majority status — a maddening embarrassment to some, democracy in action to others, but not at all how the House is expected to function.

President Joe Biden called to congratulate the new speaker and said it’s “time for all of us to act responsibly” with challenges ahead to fund the government and provide aid for Ukraine and Israel.

“We need to move swiftly,” the president said in a statement.

In the House, far-right members had refused to accept a more traditional speaker, and moderate conservatives didn’t want a hard-liner. While Johnson had no opponents during a private party roll call late Tuesday, some two dozen Republicans did not vote, more than enough to sink his nomination.

But when GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik rose to introduce Johnson’s name Wednesday as their nominee, Republicans jumped to their feet for a standing ovation.

“House Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson will never give up,” she said.

Texas Guardian News
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply


Houston runoff elections: Tough mayoral race as early voting starts Monday



U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Texas Sen. John Whitmire are headlining the runoff election this year after neither cleared the required 50 percent vote mark required to be called Houston’s next mayor.

Early voting for Houston’s runoff elections kicks off next Monday. Here’s what you should know.

Early voting begins Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 5 before the election on Dec. 9. There will be nine races on the ballot.

Mayoral race

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and State Sen. John Whitmire are headlining the runoff election this year after neither cleared the required 50 percent vote mark required to be called Houston’s next mayor.

The two led a crowded race weeks ago when final ballot counts revealed that 42 percent of voters supported Whitmire and 35 percent voted for Jackson Lee. Jackson Lee and Whitmire were quick to become headbutting contenders, rising to the top of a crowded field of mayoral candidates for their legislative experience and notable endorsements.

Their months-long heated race for the seat has stayed the subject of local and national headlines after their campaigns dished out thousand of dollars in advertisements and billboards.

Gilbert Garcia came in third place in the general election with 7.2 percent of the vote, and former city councilman Jack Christie followed with 6.9 percent of the vote.

The eight other races in the runoff are for city controller and seven of the 16 seats on the Houston City Council, including four of the five at-large positions. Here’s what else is on the runoff ballot.

Other races on the ballot

City controller – Former Harris County treasurer Orlando Sanchez against former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins

District D – Incumbent Carolyn Evans-Shabazz against Travis McGee

District G – Incumbent Mary Nan Huffman against Houston attorney Tony Buzbee

District H – Mario Castillo against Cynthia Reyes Revilla

At-large position 1 – Julian Ramirez against Melanie Miles

At-large position 2 – Willie Davis against Nick Hellyar

At-large position 3 – Richard Cantu against Twila Carter

At-large position 4 – Letitia Plummer against Roy Morales

Texas Guardian News
Continue Reading


Voters are turning out early for Houston mayoral race



More than two weeks before Election Day for the Houston mayoral race, some local voters headed to the polls in an attempt to beat the crowd.

Early voting started Monday in Harris County, where more than 60 poll locations are open. The early voting period for the city elections runs through Nov. 3, with Election Day on Nov. 7.

“I prefer to come early because when it comes the day, it’s too much people,” said voter Olimipia Rodriguez, who was among the early voters Monday. “And right now it’s better for me.”

There are 17 candidates on the ballot for the mayor’s race. Texas Sen. John Whitmire and U.S. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee are the frontrunners, according to a recent survey by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

This year’s city elections also include races for city council seats and city controller, along with a series of local and statewide propositions on the ballot.

Amos Daniels, who voted Monday morning at the Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center on Lockwood Drive, said she wants the next mayor to have accountability and felt that it’s been lacking during Mayor Sylvester Turner’s tenure in office, which began in 2016.

“It would be nice if these politicians would do what they say they’re going to do,” Daniels said. “[When] Sylvester Turner came in talking about he was going to be the pothole mayor and he was going to fix all the potholes and everything. Well, I live out in this area and one day I hit a pothole. He didn’t do what he said he’s going to do.”

Daniels said that she will vote for the candidate she believes can be transparent during their tenure in the mayor’s office.

“They just need to do what they say they’re going to do,” Daniels said. “They all come in with agendas. They all band together.”

METRO, the region’s transit provider, is providing free round-trip service to the polls through the early voting period and on Election Day. Voters just need to inform the bus operator or fare inspector that they are going to or returning from the polls.

Voters must have one of seven acceptable forms of photo identification in order to vote.

Voters can still request a mail-in ballot through Oct. 27. They must be completed and sent in by Nov. 7.

Culled from the Houston Public Media

Texas Guardian News
Continue Reading


Presidential Election: Nigeria’s Supreme Court dismisses opposition challenges



Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s Supreme Court refused Thursday to void the recent election of President Bola Tinubu and dismissed the political opposition’s challenges, which argued that the vote was flawed and that Tinubu was not qualified to seek or hold the presidency.

The court held in a majority ruling that the grounds of the challenges were “devoid of merits,” ending a dispute that had put Africa’s most populous country on the edge after the February election. An appeals court in Nigeria also rejected the petitions last month.

Two other candidates in the election separately challenged Tinubu’s win, alleging that he failed to meet the minimum educational qualification to run, did not secure the required number of votes and that the country’s election commission did not follow its own provisions in collating and announcing the election results.

During a televised hearing in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenges from the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party’s Peter Obi in their entirety, affirming the position of the election tribunal that Tinubu’s victory followed the due process.

“It is my view that there is no merit in this appeal,” Justice Inyang Okoro, who read the ruling of the seven-member court panel, said of Abubakar’s petition. A similar ruling was subsequently issued in Obi’s case.

The court also refused to admit new evidence that Abubakar’s lawyers said proved their allegations that Tinubu tendered forged academic credentials from an American university.

The court said the issue of the alleged forgery was not reflected as one of the grounds of the original petition within the time frame provided by the Nigerian Constitution.

“Facts and documents which were not pleaded in the petition have no place in deciding the dispute between the parties,” Okoro said.

The Peoples Democratic Party, Nigeria’s main opposition party, said it was “alarmed, disappointed and gravely concerned” by the court’s finding, arguing it was inconsistent with Nigerian law.

Tinubu, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, lauded the ruling. “The court has done justice to all issues put up for consideration in the petitions on the merits of the law, without fear or favor,” the president said.

While millions of Nigerians followed the question of the president’s academic credentials as the major highlight of the case before the Supreme Court, Thursday’s ruling did not come as a surprise to many because no presidential election in Nigeria has ever been annulled by a court.

Some have said the conditions stipulated in Nigeria’s laws make it difficult to prove irregularities, and some questioned the independence of the judiciary.

Tinubu’s election was largely described by observers as an improvement from the 2019 election. But the observers also said the delays in uploading and announcing the election results could have left room for ballot tampering.

Texas Guardian News
Continue Reading