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Campaign Roundup: The Week's Political News

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has a Republican primary coming up, but if you listen to what he's saying, it's all about November.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at a U.S. Senate candidate debate on Jan. 12, 2012, in Austin.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is doing his best to ignore the other Republicans in the race for U.S. Senate, but Democrat Paul Sadler got an immediate rise out of him with a demand that Dewhurst either resign or come back and restore cuts to public education.

Running against other Republicans is a little complicated, but for the Democrat, Dewhurst's strategy is to run against President Obama and to remind voters that Sadler is in the president's party.

Sadler's strategy is to paint Republicans as more interested in politics than in schoolchildren. He said Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry should call a special session on school finance, and he said the lieutenant governor should either "get to work, or resign." Dewhurst responded that was "just another example of a tax-and-spend liberal advocating for bigger government and more regulation."

Sadler might or might not be the guy to shoot at. The Democrats chasing the U.S. Senate nomination are in a virtual tie at this point in the race, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. And 55 percent of the voters haven't made up their minds. With 11 points over Ted Cruz, Dewhurst leads the Republican pack in that race.

• Dewhurst picked up the endorsements of MPACT, the political action committee affiliated with the Texas Association of Manufacturers, and of the Texas Apartment Association. He's been stacking up institutional supporters in his bid for federal office; his opponents have said that's because those groups don't want to offend a candidate who'll either be a lieutenant governor or a U.S. senator a year from now.

• Houston's Steve Hotze, through his group Conservative Republicans of Texas, endorsed Elizabeth Ames Jones' Republican primary challenge to Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio.

• Candidates for candidates: U.S. Senate candidate Craig James has put out nearly as many press releases for Rick Santorum as for his own campaign. Suffice to say he's for the former Pennsylvania senator. And House Speaker Joe Straus picked a horse in that race, endorsing Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.

• The Texas GOP primary is months away, but Santorum is coming to Austin this week, dragging the sack for campaign funds. Among the sponsors for that Friday event: State Reps. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, and Paul Workman, R-Austin, and former state Rep. Tim Von Dohlen, who's now a lobbyist.

• State Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, who's running for state Senate, picked up endorsements from the National Rifle Association and its Texas affiliate, the Texas State Rifle Association. Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, is running for Congress; Taylor's running for Jackson's spot in the Senate.

• State Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, got the endorsement of TEXPAC, the political wing of the Texas Medical Association. Deuell, like his endorsers, is a medical doctor.  

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2012 elections