The Brief: Abbott, Smitherman Lob Spousal Attack Accusations

Texas Attorney General and candidate for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott gives keynote speech during the Texas Rally for Life on January 25th, 2014
Texas Attorney General and candidate for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott gives keynote speech during the Texas Rally for Life on January 25th, 2014

The Big Conversation

Election Day is tomorrow and the tenor of some of the campaigns has moved toward "no quarter, bayonet the wounded." In two races, candidates are making accusations of personal attacks against their wives. Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott said a Democratic Lubbock city councilman referred to his wife, a granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, as a "prop." The complaint came after a get-out-the-vote stop that Abbott made to the Hub City.

The councilman, Victor Hernandez, said the venue chosen for the visit — Jimenez Bakery and Restaurant — was "a 'prop' designed to create the 'illusion' that local Hispanics supported him," the Tribune's Jay Root reported. A story by conservative blogger Bryan Preston referred to a source telling him that Hernandez had called Abbott's wife a prop. That story was then tweeted by Abbott.

Was Hernandez referring to Abbott's use of the Mexican eatery as a prop? Or was it Abbott's wife? Root talked to Preston, who said "his source 'did not go into detail.' Preston did not immediately return a phone call or text message on Sunday. Hernandez accused Republicans of trying to shift the focus away from divisive, anti-immigrant comments made in this primary election season."

In the increasingly nasty fight to win the GOP nomination for attorney general, Barry Smitherman used the occasion of the Bexar County Republican Women's luncheon on Friday to complain of Ken Paxton supporters accusing his wife of having an affair, the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton reported for Texas Weekly's TW Politics blog ($). These men are vying with Dan Branch for the two spots in an expected May runoff. A recent UT/TT poll showed Smitherman to be the odd man out in the race.

The Day Ahead

•    GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott makes stops in Houston and Dallas for get-out-the-vote rallies.

Today in the Trib

Ag Candidates Weigh In on School Lunch Program: "One of the Texas agriculture commissioner's biggest jobs is running the federally funded school breakfast and lunch program. Read what the Republican and Democratic candidates for agriculture commissioner have to say about the program."

A Change in the Voter Mix Lies Ahead for Republicans: "Everybody knows that the Hispanic growth of the state amight change Texas politics. Republicans have another demographic trend to consider: Who will replace elderly voters in their constituency?"

Lottery's Watchdog Intends to Remain on Guard: "Dawn Nettles' passion for the Texas Lottery started as a website with lottery results and related articles and over the last 20 years has evolved into a full-time job."

Must-Read

Road may be nearing end for two lite gov hopefuls, Houston Chronicle

Dan Patrick tweets Oscar jab at David Dewhurst, Politico

Even before Tuesday’s primary, candidates focus on a May runoff, Austin American-Statesman

Arizona sheriff switches support from Katrina Pierson to Pete Sessions in congressional race, The Dallas Morning News

Candidates highlight Hispanic appeal in Brownsville, McAllen Monitor

Texas companies with fatalities not on violator list, Houston Chronicle

Texas officials target Tiguas over games, seek penalties, $750K, El Paso Times

Quote to Note

"Abstinence doesn’t work for cows."

— GOP agriculture commissioner candidate J Allen Carnes on why he's steering clear of hot-button social issues in his run for that statewide office

News From Home

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    Live Post-Primary Election TribCast at the Austin Club, 3/5

•    A Conversation With Sen. Wendy Davis, 2014 Democratic Candidate for Governor, at Stateside at the Paramount, 3/6

•    A Conversation With Sen. Charles Schwertner and Reps. John Raney and Kyle Kacal at Texas A&M University in College Station, 3/27

•    A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13

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