The Brief: Davis, Abbott Could Both Be $10M Candidates

Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott at their respective announcements for governor of Texas.
Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott at their respective announcements for governor of Texas.

The Big Conversation

Both Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are expected to disclose raising more than $10 million in campaign finance filings due this week, according to Peggy Fikac, Austin bureau chief for the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle.

An eight-figure showing in the upcoming report, which collects campaign finance activity over the final six months of 2013, is significant for both gubernatorial hopefuls. But it is particularly significant for Davis, who, as Fikac notes, started out the election season with a significant cash-on-hand disadvantage to Abbott, who has built up a sizable campaign war chest over his tenure as attorney general.

"Raising eight figures would put Davis closer to the $30 million to $40 million she's expected to need to compete," Fikac wrote. "Continued fundraising strength is also important for Abbott. He can't let her look like she's taking over momentum on the money front. It looks like they'll each have something to brag about."

The Day Ahead

•    The Texas Business Roundtable candidate forum kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. The all-day event features more than two dozen Republican candidates for statewide and senate seats. Click here for a full list of confirmed participants.

•    Lite guv candidates Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples have confirmed their participation in a candidate forum hosted by the Denton County Republican Party at 7 p.m.

•    The UT System Board of Regents will hold a telephone conference call at 10 a.m. for "discussion and appropriate action regarding employment contract for Charles R. Strong as Head Football Coach," according to the meeting's official notice.

Today in the Trib

Unemployment Drug-Testing Law Delayed: "Texas is preparing for a new drug screening procedure required of applicants for unemployment benefits, but the federal Labor Department has yet to set the parameters."

Just a Few Races Will Tell You How the Wind Blows: "Nearly 700 people are running for various state offices, but to figure out the direction of Texas politics, you only need to see the results in a few of those contests."

Texas Nuclear Power Plants Seek New Workforce: "In the next few years, about 40 percent of the employees at the state’s largest nuclear power plant will be eligible for retirement, so the company is racing to recruit new specialists."

Must-Read

Senator touts plan to address water, power issues, Austin American-Statesman

Stricter training rules for health care navigators raise questions, Houston Chronicle

New complaint against Empower Texans claims illegal solicitations, San Antonio Express-News

Tab for Gov. Perry’s security detail hits $2.8 million for out-of-Texas travel, Houston Chronicle

Bills for UT regent investigation topping $200,000, The Dallas Morning News

Patterson targets Hispanics in lieutenant governor race, San Antonio Express-News

Quote to Note

"At some point, Abbott is going to unleash the hounds of TV ads on her. Her ability to respond, dollar for dollar, is going to be really important." — GOP political consultant Matt Mackowiak on the significance of a $10 million campaign finance report from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis

News From Home

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    Regional premiere of Watershed followed by a panel discussion at Stateside at the Paramount on 1/15

•    Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Austin Club on 1/16

•    A Conversation on Our Nation's Future Featuring U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in San Antonio on 1/23

•    Comptroller candidate Debra Medina at the Austin Club on 1/30 

•    Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Austin Club on 2/6

•    Sen. Kel Seliger and Reps. John Smithee and Four Price at West Texas A&M in Canyon on 2/7

•    Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

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