Morgan Smith Reporter

Morgan Smith reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in Texas public schools. Her political coverage has included congressional and legislative races, as well as Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, which she followed to Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2013, she received a National Education Writers Association award for "Death of a District," a series on school closures. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College, she moved to Austin in 2008 to enter law school at the University of Texas. A San Antonio native, her work has also appeared in Slate, where she spent a year as an editorial intern in Washington D.C.

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Patrick, Now in Driver's Seat, Credits Grass Roots

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to supporters in Houston after primary election results indicate he is heading into a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to supporters in Houston after primary election results indicate he is heading into a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

State Sen. Dan Patrick has credited his success to grassroots support. But the Houston Republican's momentum has also been built on lessons learned navigating the old-school politics of Harris County.

Patrick and Castro Will Face-off April 15

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a Democrat, and State Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican who is running for lieutenant governor, are set to debate immigration policy in Castro's hometown on April 15.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a Democrat, and State Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican who is running for lieutenant governor, are set to debate immigration policy in Castro's hometown on April 15.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro have finalized plans to face-off over immigration policy and border security on April 15. 

Dewhurst to Again Appear at Lt. Gov. Debate Solo

State Sen. Dan Patrick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are in a runoff in the GOP lieutenant governor's race.
State Sen. Dan Patrick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are in a runoff in the GOP lieutenant governor's race.

After refusing to participate in a closed-door debate in the Houston area on Tuesday, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick will miss a chance Thursday to publicly face his May runoff opponent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst because of a scheduling conflictBut the pair will appear together at a forum in Kerrville Friday.

Patterson, Staples Weigh In on Lt. Gov. Runoff

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to supporters in Houston after primary election results indicate he is heading into a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to supporters in Houston after primary election results indicate he is heading into a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples offered differing takes on Tuesday on how the May runoff between their former lieutenant governor primary opponents — Dan Patrick and incumbent David Dewhurst — might turn out.

Lobbyist: Efforts Afoot to Get Candidates to Drop Out

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spoke to supporters in Houston after it became clear he would head into a runoff election against state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spoke to supporters in Houston after it became clear he would head into a runoff election against state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

UPDATED: An email from a lobbyist at one of the state's largest law firms suggests there may be efforts underway to persuade three second-place Republican primary finishers to withdraw from the May runoffs. 

 

Davis' Primary Losses in Border Counties Encourage GOP

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, takes the stage as supporters at her Fort Worth headquarters cheer her victory in the primary election.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, takes the stage as supporters at her Fort Worth headquarters cheer her victory in the primary election.

In an election year in which Hispanic voters are crucial to Democratic success, the first feud of the now-official general election gubernatorial matchup is being fueled by state Sen. Wendy Davis' primary performance on the border.