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Texas politics were very much in the national spotlight in 2021, and national politics played a huge role in Texas. Lots of reporting from 2020 – including the coronavirus pandemic that has touched every part of Texans’ lives, and the refusal of many Republicans to accept the loss of Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.
Many Texans have been arrested and charged with participating in the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol. Texas Republican politicians played a role in casting baseless doubts on the election results leading up to the riots and violence that erupted.
The state legislature met in January. During the Regular Session and the following three Special Sessions, lawmakers passed laws restricting Texans’ ability to vote, creating new political constituencies that ignored demographic trends and restricted access to abortion.
In February, a severe winter storm brought nearly the entire state to its knees when the state’s main energy grid failed, leaving millions without electricity or water and costing billions of dollars.
As the end of the year approaches, the 2022 electoral cycle has warmed up. Abbott has seen well-known main challengers rise to his right, and former Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke has announced his own run.
All the while, the Texas Tribune photographers and news services were there. Here is some of their work.