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The Brief: March 21, 2012

An investigation into the firebombing of state Sen. Wendy Davis' Fort Worth office on Tuesday has begun.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.

The Big Conversation:

An investigation into the firebombing of state Sen. Wendy Davis' Fort Worth office on Tuesday has begun.

The incident occurred at Davis' district office at about 4 p.m. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, incendiary materials were lobbed at the front door to the office, starting a small fire that was quickly contained by one of two staffers in the office. No one was injured, including Davis, who was at her law office downtown at the time. (Find video and photos of the scene here.)

According to the Star-Telegram, fire officials have started an arson investigation. Though a maintenance worker tried to chase the individual who threw the devices, investigators don't have a description of the suspect yet.

At a press conference outside the office on Tuesday night, Davis called the attack "alarming and very scary." But she said it was too early to determine whether the attack was politically motivated.

"Texas is facing some tremendous challenges right now," she said. "It's unfortunate when things like this happen in the public arena, and it reminds us of how important it is for us to remain very civil in our discourse."

Davis has recently emerged as one of the more visible Democratic state lawmakers, famously filibustering state lawmakers into a special session over education funding in June. A former Fort Worth City Council member, she also recently won a redistricting fight that pitted her against Republican plans to draw her out of office.

"It's a sad but true fact of public service that we have to feel concerned sometimes for our personal safety," Davis said Tuesday. "But we can't let that stop us."


  • Mitt Romney easily won the Illinois primary Tuesday, defeating Rick Santorum, his closest rival, by nearly 12 points. Romney aides hoped a strong victory would dispel lingering doubts about the front-runner within the Republican ranks and bolster his delegate advantage. Romney's new momentum, however, could spell bad news for Texans hoping for a heated primary in their state: The race may be virtually over by the time the state's May 29 contest arrives.
  • The Austin American-Statesman reports that FreedomWorks, the national Tea Party group that has backed Ted Cruz over David Dewhurst in Texas' U.S. Senate race, may soon paint a target on another prominent Texas Republican: House Speaker Joe Straus, whom the group considers insufficiently conservative. The group will meet today with Matt Beebe, who will challenge Straus in the Republican primary, to decide whether to endorse him. "The citizens of Texas want to see real reform," Matt Kibbe, the group's president, told the Statesman. "They look at other states that are doing more, and they ask: ‘Why not here?'"
  • Rick Santorum will visit Dallas on Thursday for a fundraising event, The Dallas Morning News reports. He'll also head to San Antonio the same day to address the USAA. Santorum last visited Texas in February for a fundraising stop in Austin.


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