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Politics Today: Election Recap and Voter Turnout

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here on politics today. >> from kamr local 4 news, your local election headquarters. this is politics today. >> pay more in property taxes. you approved it. a look at the bond approved by amarillo voters last week. >> state representative ken king touring his massive 17-county district. we will catch up with him. and talk with him about the future plans and the political environment in austin. good morning. and happy sunday, everyone. thanks for spending part of the day with us. along with those topics we discuss, we will get you ready for the next election coming up in less than five months. >> plus, we will havean extended talk with ken king later in this program. >> first, we start with the math lesson from last week's constitutional amendment election here in texas. remember that? well, here in amarillo, we had a much bigger decision to make. looks like most of you didn't know about it or didn't care. >> here are the numbers for the lesson. $100 million. $200,000. $100,000 and eight. here is the answer. 8% of the roughly 100,000 people registered to vote in a town of approximately 200,000 decided to increase your property taxes. property taxes for everyone by approving a $100 million bond. the i.s.d.'s $100 million bond passed easily. 55% to 45%. that money will go toward improving several campuses in the district and improving safety. >> of that $100 million, $11.5 going to safety and security updates. that will include bulletproof glass as well as improvements to pick-up and drop-off areas. more than $35 million will go to improving numerous campuses with refurbished bathrooms, adding classrooms. board members held a watch party on tuesday to see the results as the numbers came in. >> i feel great. i'm very thankful to our citizens that voted for this measure, and we pledge to do our very best in order to use your phones... funds to improve our schools over the next few years. >> 7 precincts voting on a sales tax increase of 2% to pay for operations like their volunteer fire department. that would only be outside of the city limits. because we we already have that sales tax right where it is. that did pass with 63% of the vote. >> over to randall county now. voters once again deciding whether to allow the sale of liquor and beer for off-campus consumption in precincts. these results, of course, final. >> voters approving a $13 million bond-for-construction and updates on a school campus. that passed... with 54% of the vote. those results are final. local voters as well as texans as a whole, they were, as you can tell, in a yes mood last week. >> not only did they pass millions in bond proposals, all 7 proposed amendments to the state constitution were approved. veterans and their spouses will get a homestead tax exemption through prop one. prop two has to do with the refinancing of home equity loans. proposition four deals with requirements that a city has to notify the attorney general when a challenge is made to a state statute. >> also, prop five sports teams allowed to hold raffles for charitable purposes. there was an amendment allowing ten professional teams in the state to do so. this one just expands that right to more teams. prop six approved a tax exception for spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty. prop 7 allows banks and other financial institutions to give away prizes, like, say, open a savings account, get a free toaster. that is passed because it allows people or entices people to stay. >> texas now has a total of 498 state constitutional amendments. since 1876, texans have only shot down 179. as we prepare for the next election, there will be fewer incumbents running next time around. particularly, republicans. >> nearly a dozen flps all have announced they are leaving washington. four of them from right here in texas. representative ted poe announced yesterday he would not seek reelection. he joins representatives lamar smith and sam johnson. all of texas. they will not be going back to the u.s. house. meanwhile, o'rourke is also leaving the house. but not politics. he is planning to run against ted cruz for the u.s. senate. the retiring republicans attribute their actions to the current political atmosphere in washington. poe announced he is ready to make the next step in his life. he was in cancer remission last year. he will be spending more time with his grandchildren. >> some republicans are leaving voluntarily. democrats are forcing out others. one year after president trump was elected, democrats smelled blood in the water following last week's election. >> they believe they have recaptured the political momentum following two major gubernatorial wins in virginia and new jersey. as politics today's white house correspondent explains, republicans aren't ready to throw in the towel just yet. >> virginia democrat ralph northam overwhelmingly his state's gubernatorial race. now democrats are hopeful it is a sign of more victories to come. >> our republican friends better look out. >> reporter: senator chuck schumer says wins in virginia and new jersey are proof voters are fed up with president trump's agenda. a virginia congressman agrees. >> i don't see that it has national implications. it is truly about what they saw in the candidates. >> reporter: ed gillespie never campaigned one on one with president trump. however, gillespie did run on some of the same issues the president ran on in 2016, including crime, illegal immigration. on twitter, the president distanced himself from gillespie's loss. he wrote in part, "ed gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what i stand for." a democratic pollster with lake research says his data shows democrats are tired of the trump agenda and promised to be better engaged in 2018. >> honestly, there is a lot of frustration, and anger out there. with what's happening and how it went down. >> reporter: republicans say they are foe kuing on the issues like tax reform. hopeful voters will make progress before next november. >> now, the democrats' wins in virginia, they also took a historical significance as well. danica roem won a seat in the legislature, becoming the first openly transgender person to claim a seat in any statehouse in the country. . >> also, do you remember alison parker? a tv reporter in virginia shot to death during a live report a few years ago. her boyfriend at the time was an anchor, chris hurst gave up that job for one in politics. on tuesday, the democrat won a seat in the state delegation. now that that election cycle is over, it is time to get ready for the next one. of course, the one-month filing period for the march primaries began yesterday. before we move on to the next election, a grim reminder of just how few people voted in the last one. >> and it is scary sometimes. $100 million bond for aisd wasn't enough to increase voter turnout. here is what we got in randall county. 8.3% of the more than 85,000 registered voters cast their ballots. more than 54,000 people in one county registered to vote. only 6.7% cast their ballots. the 8% voter turnout in amarillo, slightly better than the statewide rate of 5.7%. really. >> voter turnout will likely be much better when we head to the next polls coming up in march. >> when we come back, we will take a look at the people seening reelection as well as their possible opponents. >> one of our local lawmakers says one of his colleagues is being held accountable for bucking the system. what ken king has to say about senator sullivan. you are watching politi today from

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