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The Brief: Oct. 18, 2010

How are you celebrating the start of early voting?

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THE BIG CONVERSATION:

How are you celebrating the start of early voting?

You could start by doing just that — exercising your civic duty early before the big day, Nov. 2 (T-minus 15 days). 

Or you could start your day with a little more research and think about voting early while watching the Tribune's Friday's interviews with gubernatorial candidates Rick Perry and Bill White. It was no snarling, down-in-the-dirt debate, but the candidates each got an hour's worth of illuminating grilling from the Trib's Evan Smith, who talked with White about his ties to the president, health care reform, money he's raised from appointees and how he'd deal with the budget shortfall, among other topics. With Perry, talk centered on the Emerging Technology Fund, the governor's public (and private) calendar, federal stimulus money, sanctuary cities, abstinence education and more. (Need something more condensed? Highlights for each are available here and here.)

You could also take the time to brush up on the state of the marquee race, which is getting those final-stretch treatments from outlets across the state, including from the Trib, whose Ross Ramsey over the weekend reported on Washington's central role in the race.

Or get a look another look at the GovTracker, which should show White and Perry making stops in strongholds to rally base voters.

And, of course, don't forget your local races. The Houston Chronicle, which notes that voting early might be especially important in Harris County, has some voting tips for you.

Polls will stay open through Oct. 29, and you can vote at any early voting location in the county in which you're registered. Ah, the ease.

Find a polling site here.

CULLED:

  • Breaking from every major state newspaper that has weighed in so far, the Waco Tribune-Herald endorsed Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday, saying: "In recent times, Gov. Rick Perry has done and said things that haven’t always suggested wisdom or prudence, ranging from rash talk in 2009 suggesting secession as an option for Texans, to his regrettable decision this year to skip a debate with Democratic challenger Bill White. Yet, even as some Texans wonder if Perry has been too long in the governor’s job — 10 years — we find much in his philosophy to recommend to voters, including vows to restrain state spending and cut government, plus his vigorous efforts on behalf of business."
  • The Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday blasted its chairman for recent statements he made labeling Cameron Todd Willingham, the executed arsonist whose guilt is now being re-examined, a "guilty monster."
  • Shaken by the mystery on Falcon Lake, Zapata residents have another worry on their hands: scared-off tourists.

"Rick Perry said that he couldn't outsmart the State Board of Education. People oughta … think about that." — Bill White, in his Friday interview

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