The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for July 24, 2012

Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•  Rick Perry Makes "Final Pitch" for David Dewhurst: "Gov. Rick Perry made one last push ahead of the July 31 runoff for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday afternoon, joining the GOP U.S. Senate hopeful at a news conference and describing former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz as having 'no record.'"

•  Judge Denies Competency Hearing for Mentally Ill Death Row Inmate: "A Brazos County judge on Tuesday denied death row inmate Marcus Druery's request for a hearing to determine whether he is competent to be executed Aug. 1. Druery's lawyers say he is too mentally ill to understand his punishment and plan to appeal the decision."

•  Williamson County Makes Arrest in 1980 Murder Case: "Williamson County officials have arrested a 53-year-old former Garland resident in the 1980 murder of Mildred McKinney. The Williamson County Sheriff's Office says it identified the DNA and a fingerprint of Steven Alan Thomas at the crime scene."

•  Professor Who Led Fracking Study Faces Scrutiny: "A University of Texas at Austin professor who led a report that denied a link between fracking and groundwater contamination has come under scrutiny for not disclosing financial ties to the oil and gas industry."

•  Rodriguez, Gallego Make Final Arguments in CD-23: "With the July 31 runoff around the corner, the Democratic candidates in Congressional District 23 are busy rallying voters across the district. And the size of CD-23 is only adding to the challenges for Pete Gallego and Ciro Rodriguez."

Culled:

•  In debate’s aftermath, Dewhurst explains immigration stand, releases web video on ‘DC Insider' Cruz (The Dallas Morning News): "Senate candidate David Dewhurst appeared Tuesday morning on the same Fox TV affiliate in Houston that helped organize and broadcast his debate with Ted Cruz the night before. And it was obvious that Dewhurst felt the need to do some explaining about his immigration stand. … On Tuesday morning, Dewhurst’s campaign [also] released a web video that challenges Cruz on his refusal to pledge, if elected, to support Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s bid to become the GOP’s No. 2 Senate leader, or party whip."

•  3 Million Fewer May Be Insured Due to Ruling, Study Predicts (The New York Times): "The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s health care overhaul would probably lead to an increase in the number of uninsured and a modest reduction in the cost to the federal government, compared with estimates before the court ruling."

•  Hispanic PAC of Dallas back Domingo Garcia, Jason Villalba, Maricela Moore (The Dallas Morning News): "The Hispanic PAC of Dallas Tuesday endorsed three Hispanics candidates locked in tough runoff battles. In the newly created Congressional District 33, the PAC is backing former state Rep. Domingo Garcia over state Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth."

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