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.

Recent Contributions

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. 

Coalition of Tea Party Leaders Stick Up for Dan Patrick

Texas Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks with editor Evan Smith at TribLive on September 19, 2013.
Texas Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks with editor Evan Smith at TribLive on September 19, 2013.

Representatives from 13 Tea Party groups across the state have pledged to stand with Dan Patrick "just as we stood with Ted Cruz in the face of unrelenting attacks from moderates and liberals." A former employee claimed this week that Patrick hired him and three other men while they were in the U.S. illegally in the 1980s.