The Brief: Top Texas News for July 3, 2012

The Big Conversation:

As the fight for Texas’ open seat — the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the nation — trudges forward, one candidate is drawing heat because of his largest single donor.

“Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Ted Cruz points with pride to the army of small conservative donors supporting him,” writes the Tribune’s Jay Root, “But his largest longtime contributor is a gay billionaire who supports same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, campaign finance filings show.”

Peter Thiel has given the maximum amount, $5,000, to Cruz’s bid against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to replace outgoing U.S ...

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