Leppert Takes Mayoral Record Into U.S. Senate Race

5/12/12  Texas U.S. Senate candidate Tom Leppert talks to members of the community (left and right) Michael Osuna and Steve Chappell  at the Christ Fellowship Church in  McKinney, TX during a candidate meet and greet.
5/12/12 Texas U.S. Senate candidate Tom Leppert talks to members of the community (left and right) Michael Osuna and Steve Chappell at the Christ Fellowship Church in McKinney, TX during a candidate meet and greet.

During Tom Leppert's tenure as Dallas mayor, the city's crime rate dropped and major projects advanced. But critics say Leppert, now a U.S. Senate hopeful, had always looked at the job as a political stepping stone.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/14/12

Aaronson on why the latest Texas job gains are a mixed bag, Aguilar on the fight over an Eagle Pass coal mine, Batheja on nasty U.S. Senate race ads, Galbraith on El Paso's water woes, Grissom on John Bradley's tough primary, Hamilton and M. Smith on the controversial chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, Murphy's cool higher ed stats interactive, Ramsey talks to Robert Draper about what's wrong with Congress, Ramshaw on Joe Barton vs. himself, Root on Perry's Mitt embrace and my exclusive sit-down with the chancellor of the UT System: The best of our best content from May 14-18, 2012.

Wentworth Files Defamation Suit, Jones Responds

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, prepares to leave the Senate chamber after he tried to generate support for his guns-on-campus bill SB354 on April 11, 2011
Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, prepares to leave the Senate chamber after he tried to generate support for his guns-on-campus bill SB354 on April 11, 2011

Elizabeth Ames Jones, a candidate in SD-25, has filed her response to a defamation suit filed against her by incumbent state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. Her campaign calls his suit "frivolous and politically-inspired."

Helium Sales Legislation Would Impact Panhandle

AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.
AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.

A site near Amarillo operated by the federal government produces about a third of the world's helium, which is  needed for MRIs and semiconductors. Lawmakers are looking to keep vital sales of the gas from being interrupted. 

UT's Reform-Minded Chairman at Center of Controversy

UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.
UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.

Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System's board of regents, has drawn lots of attention. The latest commotion surrounds a report — which he denies — that he asked the chancellor to recommend the firing of UT-Austin's president.