The impeachment focus last week shifted from the U.S. House of Representatives to the Senate, which probably won't deal with the recommendation to remove Republican Donald Trump from the White House until early next year.

And will kill it.

While that furor occupies Washington's attention, Democratic presidential candidates have been focusing on the four early states – Iowa (Feb. 3), New Hampshire (Feb. 11), Nevada (Feb. 22) and South Carolina (Feb. 29).

But some are beginning to focus on Texas. The primary is on Super Tuesday – March 3 – along with 15 other states. Early voting in Texas will begin Feb. 18 – two months from now – before the primaries in Nevada and South Carolina.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, leading in most polls so far, was in San Antonio Friday, Dec. 13, for a community event and a high-dollar fundraiser.

He said he hopes to help make Texas a battleground state.

“You’re going to be seeing a whole lot of me between now and November, God willing,” Biden said in his fourth trip to the state. If he wins the nomination, he said he will “compete here in Texas to win Texas.”

Texas Democrats continue their effort to return the state from red to blue, which it hasn't been for a quarter-century.

Texas Democrats last won a statewide office in 1994 and the Republicans have won every statewide office since 1998.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign opened its first Texas office in San Antonio and another one in Austin.

Three days earlier, the campaign said it had hired more than two dozen full-time Texas senior staffers. And they'll be adding offices soon in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth.

So far, Warren and Biden are the only candidates to open offices in Texas. Warren, who used to teach at the University of Texas law school, has visited Houston, Dallas and Austin as a 2020 presidential candidate.

Several days ago, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is passing up the early states, spoke to Democratic Party officials in Dallas while running more than $6.2 million on TV ads in Texas.

Also in Dallas, Andrew Yang, a New York entrepreneur, held what his campaign said was his largest rally yet.

There are 17 candidates signed up for the Texas presidential primary. There were 18, but California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who signed up Nov. 9, dropped out before the Dec. 9 filing deadline in time to remove her name.

Probably some of the remaining 17 will drop out before the primary election, but still might be on the ballot.

Several you've heard of. Some you most likely haven't. Alphabetically, here's the list:

- U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado;

- Former Vice President Joe Biden;

- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg;

- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey;

- Mayor of South Bend, Ind. Pete Buttigieg;

- Former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary Julian Castro;

- California businessman Rocky De La Fuente;

- Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland;

- U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii;

- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

- Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick;

- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont;

- California businessman Tom Steyer;

- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts;

- California insurance agent Robby Wells;

- California author Marianne Williamson; and

- New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang.


U.S. Senate Democratic competitors

Here are the candidates for the Democratic Texas U.S. Senate nomination:

- Chris Bell, former U.S. Representative for Texas's 25th congressional district, nominee for governor of Texas in 2006, and candidate for mayor of Houston in 2015;

- Michael Cooper, pastor and candidate for lieutenant governor of Texas in 2018;

- Amanda Edwards, Houston city councilwoman;

- Jack Daniel Foster, Jr., educator;

- Annie Garcia, attorney;

- Victor Hugo Harris;

- M.J. Hegar, retired U.S. Air Force major and nominee for Texas's 31st congressional district in 2018;

- Sema Hernandez, organizer for the Poor People's Campaign and candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018;

- D.R. Hunter, retiree;

- Adrian Ocegueda, financial analyst and candidate for governor of Texas in 2018;

- Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, labor organizer and author; and

- Royce West, Dallas state senator since 1993.

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