TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 2/10/14

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, is playing defense against two Republican primary challengers, Elisa Chan, a former San Antonio city councilwoman, and Mike Novak, a former Bexar County commissioner.

While customs officers on the border have their hands full searching for heroin, marijuana and other drugs, at least once a year they face another foe with the potential to wreak havoc on the country's economy: flowers.

With less than a week before the start of early voting in the March 4 primaries, use our interactive to see how statewide candidates are spending campaign funds to purchase network airtime in Texas' four biggest media markets.

Among young Texans who started eighth grade in 2001, less than one-fifth earned a higher education credential within six years of their high school graduation, according to data in the Tribune's new Higher Ed Outcomes Explorer.

Each year, some 300,000 students begin eighth grade in a Texas public school. Use this app to track the educational milestones of every student who started eighth grade in a Texas public school between 1996 and 2001, broken down by region and county.

 

Following instructions from House Speaker Joe Straus, Texas lawmakers plan to study the benefits of accepting high-level nuclear waste from around the country, a controversial proposition. But even if Texas seeks a waste facility, huge hurdles would stand in its way.

Texas Democrats are hoping to win the support of people who have never voted before. They should be looking, as well, for Texans who voted for Democrats once before and never came back.

The campaigns for two GOP attorney general candidates — state Rep. Dan Branch and state Sen. Ken Paxton — are accusing each other of benefiting from President Obama's 2009 stimulus package. Those are fighting words in a Texas GOP primary.

All of the GOP candidates for agriculture commissioner have benefited from farm subsidies, and they could benefit from the new farm bill. But they are also critics of the federal government, which writes those subsidy checks.  

Full video of Evan Smith's 2/13 TribLive conversation with former state Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, a 2014 candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

After at first distancing himself from Rick Perry on the campaign trail, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is set to make a joint appearance at a fundraiser in Houston on Wednesday with the man he's hoping to succeed.

 

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