Justin Miller

Justin Miller is the politics reporter for the Observer. He previously covered politics and policy for The American Prospect in Washington, D.C., and has also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, talks with reporters in the senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Texas Politics

John Cornyn Bets Big on Trump

During the impeachment proceedings, Cornyn proved that his calculation is the same as the entire GOP’s: Live with Trump, die with Trump.

It’s become abundantly clear that U.S. Senator John Cornyn has no intention of distancing himself from Donald Trump, the man who will forever be immortalized in American history books as the third president to be impeached. Cornyn has proved to … Read More

In this January 11, 2020 photoGary Gates, a Republican businessman running for a Texas state house seat up for special election in the suburbs west of Houston speaks in front of campaign signs placed on a volunteers lawn in Katy, Texas. Gates' opponent, Eliz Markowitz, is getting national endorsements from big name Democrats before voters go the polls on January 28. (AP Photo/ John L. Mone)
Texas Politics

What the GOP’s Big Win in Fort Bend County Means for 2020

The special election runoff rout is a sobering reminder for Democrats that the GOP still dominates much of Texas. But it wasn’t the 2020 death knell that Republicans have made it out to be.

Democrats wanted to send a message in the Texas House District 28 special election runoff. A strong performance by Democrat Eliz Markowitz in Fort Bend County’s reddest legislative district would have demonstrated that the Republican hold on the Texas suburbs—and … Read More

Beto O'Rourke, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, gets ready to speak at the Pan American Neighborhood Park in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Texas Politics

He May Not Be a Candidate, but Beto O’Rourke is Rebuilding His Texas Organizing Machine for 2020

O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate campaign was fueled by an organizing network of 20,000 volunteers. Can he harness that energy again without being on the ticket?

Beto O’Rourke began 2019 as a political phenom, but ended it as an also-ran. The much-hyped former U.S. representative from El Paso initially rode a wave of optimism from his nationally watched Senate campaign, but struggled to gain support in … Read More

A petrochemical plant is seen in this aerial view Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 in Port Arthur, Texas. Hurricane Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

As Fossil Fuel Industry Invests Billions in New Texas Facilities, it Could Unleash a Huge Emissions Bomb

A new report finds that a pipeline of new and proposed oil and gas projects—many of them in Texas—could produce half a billion tons of additional greenhouse gas emissions a year.

A hulking new $10 billion ethane cracker near Corpus Christi set for completion by 2022. A trio of approved liquified natural gas export terminals near Brownsville that could be up and running by the end of 2023. A $5 billion … Read More

Political strategist and pundit Karl Rove was an architect of the GOP takeover of Texas in the 1980s. Now, he's come home to ensure Trump doesn't unravel his legacy.
Texas Politics

The Return of Karl Rove

Political strategist and pundit Karl Rove was an architect of the GOP takeover of Texas in the 1980s. Now, he's come home to ensure Trump doesn't unravel his legacy.

Former Dallas Morning News political journalist Wayne Slater remembers the moment well. He was sitting at a sports bar near downtown Austin one day in the late 1980s, listening to a quixotic political consultant pitch his plan to turn Texas—a … Read More

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign rally for President Donald Trump, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Texas Politics

Questions About Politics in 2020 That Aren’t ‘Will Texas Turn Blue?’

Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for a clash in Texas. Here’s the context you need to understand the coming year in politics.

As we head into 2020, brace yourself for an onslaught of headlines from national media posing a reductive question: “Will Texas Turn Blue?” It’s become something of a biannual assignment for political commentators. Yes, 2020 could very likely be a … Read More

Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro arrives to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Texas Politics

Julián Castro’s Bid May Be Over, But His Influence on the Presidential Race Will Continue

The son of San Antonio’s presidential campaign never quite took off, but he still left an indelible impression.

Nearly one year ago, Julián Castro stood before a crowd of supporters on San Antonio’s West Side—just blocks from where he grew up—and announced his presidential bid. It wasn’t a surprising move. Ever since the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where … Read More

Texas Politics

National Dems Back MJ Hegar, Underscoring a Deeper Debate: How to Win in Texas

More than three months before the primary, Washington Democrats caught Texas party activists off-guard by endorsing a white candidate in a crowded field that includes several black and Hispanic contenders.

On Monday, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee endorsed former U.S. House candidate MJ Hegar in her bid to run against Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn. The decision to back Hegar—who is running in a crowded, diverse field—strikes at the heart … Read More

In this Sept. 2, 2019 photo, Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks as Tony Buzbee, left, listens during a mayoral candidate forum for the 2019 election in Houston. As Turner seeks a second term, he’s hoping to use residents’ antipathy toward President Donald Trump to help him beat Turner, his biggest challenger. Crimes rates, allegations of City Hall corruption and the pace of the city’s recovery after Hurricane Harvey are among the issues that have come up in the race. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Texas Politics

Is Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Headed for a Second Term?

The incumbent mayor largely avoided a battle royale with bombastic trial lawyer Tony Buzbee for control of the Bayou City.

Just over a month ago, Houston’s mayoral runoff looked like it was shaping up to be a political battle royale. It features two big political personalities—incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner and bombastic trial attorney Tony Buzbee—and is set in a booming … Read More