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The 2018 Texas Tribune Festival is upon us! Join us Sept. 27-29 in downtown Austin for two days of unique perspectives, thoughtful conversation and networking — all in the shadow of the Texas Capitol. 

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2018 [clear filter]
Friday, September 28
 

8:00am CDT

One on One with Tom Perez
The chairman of the Democratic National Committee on the battle for control of Congress, what his party stands for today, and politics in the age of Trump.

Moderators
avatar for Reid Epstein

Reid Epstein

Politics Reporter for the Wall Street Journal
Epstein covers national politics from the Washington bureau of The Wall Street Journal, where he has worked since 2014. Previously, he reported for Politico, where he covered President Barack Obama's White House and the 2012 presidential campaign. Epstein also covered New York politics... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Tom Perez

Tom Perez

Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Perez was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2017. He previously served as secretary of labor and assistant attorney general for civil rights under President Barack Obama. Before joining the Obama administration, Perez served as secretary of the Maryland Department... Read More →


Friday September 28, 2018 8:00am - 9:00am CDT
Central Presbyterian Church
  2018

8:30am CDT

Spoiler Alert
The Libertarian Party wants to do more than disrupt elections.

Moderators
avatar for Matt Welch

Matt Welch

Editor-at-Large for Reason
Welch is editor-at-large of Reason, a libertarian-leaning magazine. He is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a co-host of “The Fifth Column” and “Reason” podcasts. Welch is a regular guest on MSNBC, Fox, CNN and HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” and is the author... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Lucy Brenton

Lucy Brenton

Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana
Brenton is the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana. She currently serves as Secretary of the Hamilton County Libertarian Party and is an entrepreneur and business consultant. Brenton previously served as the treasurer of the Indiana Notary Association and president of... Read More →
avatar for Nick Sarwark

Nick Sarwark

Chairman of the National Libertarian Party and Libertarian Candidate for Mayor of Phoenix
Sarwark is the Libertarian candidate for mayor of Phoenix and is currently serving his third term as chairman of the National Libertarian Party. Sarwark has also worked as a criminal defense attorney, a deputy public defender in Colorado and an executive in the computer consulting... Read More →
avatar for Mark Tippetts

Mark Tippetts

Libertarian Candidate for Texas Governor
Tippetts is the Libertarian candidate for Texas governor. He currently works as an international legal and business consultant. Throughout his career, Tippetts has developed and operated several companies throughout Mexico and Latin America, including a law firm in Monterrey, Mexico... Read More →


Friday September 28, 2018 8:30am - 9:30am CDT
Capital Factory, Voltron Space
  2018

9:45am CDT

Hack the Vote
Are Texas elections as tamper-proof as they need to be?

Supported by the Texas Bankers Association

Moderators
avatar for Aman Batheja

Aman Batheja

Political Editor for The Texas Tribune
Batheja currently oversees the Tribune's political coverage. He previously worked for more than a decade as a reporter covering politics and other issues, first at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and then at the Tribune. He has a master’s degree in economics from the University of... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dana DeBeauvoir

Dana DeBeauvoir

Travis County Clerk
DeBeauvoir has served as Travis County clerk since 1986, overseeing Travis County elections and the filing and preservation of property and court records. She has served as an adviser and election observer in Bosnia, Bangladesh, Kosovo and South Africa. DeBeauvoir is the recipient... Read More →
avatar for John Dickson

John Dickson

Principal at Denim Group
Dickson has been a principal at Denim Group since 2004, where he advises business and government executives on cybersecurity programs. He previously served as a U.S. Air Force officer in the Air Force Information Warfare Center and a member of the Air Force Computer Emergency Response... Read More →
avatar for Joshua Geltzer

Joshua Geltzer

Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University
Geltzer is executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University. He previously served as senior director for counterterrorism and deputy legal adviser at the National Security Council. Geltzer also serves as a fellow in New America’s... Read More →
avatar for Keith Ingram

Keith Ingram

Director of the Elections Division of the Texas Secretary of State's Office
Ingram has served as director of the Texas secretary of state’s elections division since 2012. Prior to joining the secretary of state’s office, he worked as appointments manager for Gov. Rick Perry. Ingram has also worked as an attorney in private practice.


Friday September 28, 2018 9:45am - 10:45am CDT
Studio 919 at The Texas Tribune
  2018

9:45am CDT

Puddle, Wave, Tsunami, Sharknado
Which will it be? A frank conversation about the building up and tamping down of Democratic expectations.

Supported by Lobby Days

Moderators
avatar for Abby Livingston

Abby Livingston

Washington Bureau Chief for The Texas Tribune
Livingston joined the Tribune in 2014 as the lead reporter in Washington, D.C., and won the 2017 National Press Club Award for Washington Regional Reporting for her work. She has covered political campaigns, House leadership and Congress for Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ali Lapp

Ali Lapp

President of the House Majority PAC
Lapp founded the House Majority PAC in 2011, a super PAC aimed at supporting Democratic U.S. House candidates. She previously served as campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and deputy director of the committee’s independent expenditure during the... Read More →
avatar for Chris Perkins

Chris Perkins

Partner at Ragnar Research Partners
Perkins is a pollster at Ragnar Research, and is an expert in quantitative and qualitative analysis, having conducted and analyzed survey data for over a decade on behalf of Republican candidates. He was named the top pollster by Capitol Inside’s bipartisan “Texas Power Consultants... Read More →
avatar for Dave Wasserman

Dave Wasserman

U.S. House Editor for the Cook Political Report
Wasserman is the House editor for The Cook Political Report, providing analysis of presidential, Senate, House and gubernatorial races. He has served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk since 2008 and is a frequent contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com. Wasserman... Read More →
avatar for David Weigel

David Weigel

National Political Correspondent for The Washington Post
Weigel is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he covers Congress and grassroots political movements. He previously helped launch Bloomberg Politics and worked as a reporter for Slate, where he authored the political blog Weigel and hosted an interview... Read More →


Friday September 28, 2018 9:45am - 10:45am CDT
Central Presbyterian Church
  2018

10:30am CDT

The Red Team
Leading Republicans running for Congress on the politics of the moment, the issues of our time and what the next two years might look like.

Watch the Tribune’s Split Decision series featuring candidates in key 2018 election races.

Moderators
avatar for Patrick Svitek

Patrick Svitek

Political Reporter for The Texas Tribune
Svitek covers politics for the Tribune. Previously, he worked for the Houston Chronicle’s Austin bureau and interned at The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Huffington Post Politics and the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Svitek is a graduate of Northwestern University’s... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dan Crenshaw

Dan Crenshaw

Republican Candidate for Texas' 2nd Congressional District
Crenshaw is the Republican nominee in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District in North Houston. He is a former Navy SEAL and retired lieutenant commander, and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Crenshaw holds a master’s in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of G... Read More →
avatar for Chip Roy

Chip Roy

Republican Candidate for Texas' 21st Congressional District
Roy is the Republican nominee for Texas’ 21st Congressional District. He previously served as vice president of strategy for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and director of the Center for the Tenth Amendment Action. Roy also served as the first assistant attorney general of Texas... Read More →
avatar for Van Taylor

Van Taylor

State Senator, R-Plano, and Republican Candidate for Texas' 3rd Congressional District
Taylor, R-Plano, has represented Senate District 8 since 2015. In 2017, he announced his resignation to seek the congressional seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano. Taylor previously served in the Texas House of Representatives. He also works as the director... Read More →
avatar for Ron Wright

Ron Wright

Republican Candidate for Texas' 6th Congressional District
Wright is the Republican nominee for Texas’ 6th Congressional District. He previously served as Tarrant County tax assessor-collector, a member of the Arlington City Council and chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Joe Barton. Wright has held leadership positions in the local Republican... Read More →


Friday September 28, 2018 10:30am - 11:30am CDT
St. David's Episcopal Church, Crail Hall
  2018

2:00pm CDT

The Latina Moment
Politically speaking, demography is destiny in Texas this election cycle. Why did it take so long, and how will it change us?

Moderators
avatar for Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
Soto specializes in immigration, race and gender in politics, and campaigns as a lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she was selected as one of the University’s Game Changing faculty. Her research on political behavior has been featured in The New York Times, the... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Veronica Escobar

Veronica Escobar

Democratic Candidate for Texas's 16th Congressional District
Escobar has served two terms as El Paso County judge and is the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 16th Congressional District. Previously, she served as county commissioner for Precinct 2 and as a member of numerous boards and commissions in El Paso, where she focused on border policy... Read More →
avatar for Sylvia Garcia

Sylvia Garcia

State Senator, D-Houston, and Democratic Candidate for Texas' 29th Congressional District
Garcia, D-Houston, has represented Senate District 6 since 2013. In June 2018, she announced her resignation to seek the congressional seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston. Previously, Garcia served as director and presiding judge of the Houston Municipal... Read More →
avatar for María Teresa Kumar

María Teresa Kumar

President and CEO of Voto Latino
Kumar has served as president and CEO of Voto Latino since 2004. She is also a contributor and political commentator for MSNBC and past host of “Changing America” on msnbc.org. Kumar serves as a board member of Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List and the Latino Leaders Network... Read More →
avatar for Cristina Tzintzún

Cristina Tzintzún

Founder and Executive Director of Jolt Texas
Tzintzún is founder and executive director of Jolt Texas, a Latino civic advocacy and leadership organization. She is also a co-founder of the Workers Defense Project, a worker’s rights organization focusing on immigrant workers in Texas. Tzintzún has written for NPR, Vogue and... Read More →


Friday September 28, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Central Presbyterian Church
  2018
 
Saturday, September 29
 

9:30am CDT

One on One with Nancy Pelosi
The Democratic leader of the U.S. House on party unity, retaking the reins and moving America forward.

Moderators
avatar for Alex Wagner

Alex Wagner

Co-host of Showtime's "The Circus"
Wagner is co-host of Showtime’s “The Circus,” a weekly political documentary program, and is a national correspondent for CBS News. She was previously a senior editor at The Atlantic and remains a contributing editor, bi-weekly columnist and host of the podcast “Radio Atlantic... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

Democratic Leader of the U.S. House
Pelosi has served in Congress since 1987, representing California’s 12th Congressional District. She has served as House Democratic leader since 2002 and as speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, becoming the first female party leader and speaker of the House.


Saturday September 29, 2018 9:30am - 10:30am CDT
The Paramount Theatre 713 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
  2018

12:45pm CDT

One on One with Lupe Valdez
The Democratic nominee for Texas governor on her longshot campaign and her vision for the state.

Moderators
avatar for Patrick Svitek

Patrick Svitek

Political Reporter for The Texas Tribune
Svitek covers politics for the Tribune. Previously, he worked for the Houston Chronicle’s Austin bureau and interned at The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Huffington Post Politics and the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Svitek is a graduate of Northwestern University’s... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Lupe Valdez

Lupe Valdez

Democratic Candidate for Texas Governor
Valdez is the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas. She previously served three terms as Dallas County sheriff and was the only Hispanic female sheriff in the United States and one of only four female sheriffs in Texas. Before becoming sheriff in 2005, Valdez had over three decades... Read More →


Saturday September 29, 2018 12:45pm - 1:45pm CDT
St. David's Episcopal Church, Bethel Hall
  2018

2:15pm CDT

The Mood Out There
Political pulse-takers assess the nation’s temperament heading into November.

Moderators
avatar for Jim Henson

Jim Henson

Director of the Texas Politics Project
Henson directs the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a founder and co-director of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, the only open-source statewide survey of public opinion in Texas. Henson is also the co-author of a Texas politics web-based... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Kristen Soltis Anderson

Kristen Soltis Anderson

Co-Founder of Echelon Insights and Contributor for ABC News
Soltis Anderson is the co-founder of Echelon Insights and a political commentator for ABC News. She is a commentator and columnist at The Washington Examiner and has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Soltis Anderson specializes in public opinion research, particularly... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin

National Political Correspondent for The New York Times
Martin has served as national political correspondent for The New York Times since 2013. He was previously a senior political writer and White House correspondent for Politico, where he covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Martin was also a reporter for The Hotline and... Read More →
avatar for Mark Murray

Mark Murray

Senior Political Editor at NBC News
Murray joined NBC News in 2003 and is currently senior political editor and author of NBC’s First Read blog. He appears regularly on MSNBC and Washington, D.C.’s NBC affiliate and also serves as a manager of NBC’s political coverage. Murray was previously a reporter at National... Read More →
avatar for Margie Omero

Margie Omero

Principal at GBA Strategies
Omero is a principal at GBA Strategies, a Democratic polling firm. She is the founder of Momentum Analysis, a Democratic public opinion research firm, and former managing director of Purple Insights, the research division of the political communications firm Purple Strategies. Omero... Read More →
avatar for Elena Schneider

Elena Schneider

Campaign Reporter for Politico
Schneider is a campaign reporter for Politico, focusing on House and Senate races. She previously served as a news assistant and freelancer for The New York Times’ D.C. bureau. Schneider’s work has also appeared in The Texas Tribune, Texas Monthly and Business Insider.


Saturday September 29, 2018 2:15pm - 3:15pm CDT
St. David's Episcopal Church, Bethel Hall
  2018

3:30pm CDT

PAC Attack
The heads of two of the biggest and best-funded national political action committees on their strategies for the midterms and beyond.

Moderators
avatar for Dave Levinthal

Dave Levinthal

Senior Political Reporter at the Center for Public Integrity
Levinthal joined the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization, in 2013 and leads a reporting team investigating the influence of money in federal politics. Previously, he reported on campaign finance and lobbying issues for Politico. Levinthal... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Steven Law

Steven Law

President and CEO of American Crossroads
Law has served as CEO of the conservative PACs American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS and One Nation. He previously served as deputy secretary of labor under President George W. Bush and chief legal officer and general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Law has also served as the... Read More →
avatar for Stephanie Schriock

Stephanie Schriock

President of EMILY's List
Schriock has served as president of EMILY’s List, a national organization aimed at electing pro-choice Democratic women to office, since 2010. She previously served as national finance director for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and campaign manager for U.S. Sens. John... Read More →


Saturday September 29, 2018 3:30pm - 4:30pm CDT
Texas Public Policy Foundation, McCombs Events Center
  2018

3:30pm CDT

The Blue Team
Leading Democrats running for Congress on the politics of the moment, the issues of our time and what the next two years might look like.

Watch the Tribune’s Split Decision series featuring candidates in key 2018 election races. 

Moderators
avatar for Abby Livingston

Abby Livingston

Washington Bureau Chief for The Texas Tribune
Livingston joined the Tribune in 2014 as the lead reporter in Washington, D.C., and won the 2017 National Press Club Award for Washington Regional Reporting for her work. She has covered political campaigns, House leadership and Congress for Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Colin Allred

Colin Allred

Democratic Candidate for Texas' 32nd Congressional District
Allred is the Democratic nominee for Texas' 32nd Congressional District in North Dallas. He is a civil rights lawyer and a former special assistant in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel under Secretary Julián Castro. Allred also served... Read More →
avatar for Lizzie Pannill Fletcher

Lizzie Pannill Fletcher

Democratic Candidate for Texas' 7th Congressional District
Fletcher is the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 7th Congressional District in Houston. She has worked as an attorney in Houston since 2006 at the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins and currently as a partner at AZA. Fletcher is a co-founder of Planned Parenthood Young Leaders... Read More →
avatar for MJ Hegar

MJ Hegar

Democratic Candidate for Texas' 31st Congressional District
Hegar is the Democratic nominee for Texas' 31st Congressional District in North Austin. She is a retired Air Force officer and recipient of the Purple Heart. In 2012, she successfully sued the Department of Defense to repeal the Ground Combat Exclusion Policy, which prevented women... Read More →
avatar for Gina Ortiz Jones

Gina Ortiz Jones

Democratic Candidate for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District
Ortiz Jones is the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, challenging Republican incumbent Will Hurd. She served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years and as a senior adviser for trade enforcement under President Barack Obama. Ortiz Jones... Read More →
avatar for Joseph Kopser

Joseph Kopser

Democratic Candidate for Texas’ 21st Congressional District
Kopser is the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 21st Congressional District. He is a U.S. Army veteran and tech entrepreneur serving as president of Grayline, an advisory and analytics firm. Kopser also served as a board member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and as co-founder... Read More →


Saturday September 29, 2018 3:30pm - 4:30pm CDT
St. David's Episcopal Church, Crail Hall
  2018