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The Evening Brief: July 26, 2012

Your evening reading: Combs, Patrick endorse Dewhurst; Gohmert renews Muslim Brotherhood warnings; Yarbrough up with ad in U.S. Senate race

Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.

Culled:

•  Dewhurst wins support of Combs, Patrick (Austin American-Statesman): "Comptroller Susan Combs on Thursday added her name to the long list of Texas elected officials who are backing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his bid for the U.S. Senate. Dewhurst has been 'relentless and focused on conservative principles,' said Combs, who credited the lieutenant governor for putting Texas in a strong economic position. … Earlier on Thursday, state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston posted on his Facebook page that he would vote for Dewhurst. A conservative radio host, Patrick had declined to endorse in the race but did speak up several times to defend Dewhurst’s conservative record in the Texas Senate. "

•  Rep. Gohmert pleads for media investigation into Muslim Brotherhood influence (Politico): "Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert doubled down on warnings of Muslim Brotherhood influence in America Thursday while taking a shot at the media for not investigating his claims further. The Republican suggested reporters were more interested in attacking him than assessing the merits of five letters Gohmert and four GOP colleagues — including Rep. Michele Bachmann — wrote in June. The letters ask federal inspectors general to look at U.S. officials with alleged ties to the Muslim organization — most notably State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin."

•  Senate candidate Grady Yarbrough is somehow buying ads (The Dallas Morning News): "Democratic Senate runoff candidate Grady Yarbrough is now on the airwaves across the state, but it’s unclear how he’s paying for his campaign’s ads. Yarbrough posted on his Facebook page that he’d run an 'important message' on TV and radio stations across the state. But he hasn’t responded to requests for comment from The Dallas Morning News, and he hasn’t kept up with Federal Elections Commission campaign finance filings."

•  Two Democratic state House members start PAC for Latinos (Austin American-Statesman): "State Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, and Ana Hernandez Luna, D-Houston, today said they have formed a new Latino-focused political action committee. One Texas PAC will support Democratic candidates who want to improve education and health care, according to a press release."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•  Local Court Race Tests Judicial Campaign Law: "A runoff for the state district court in Marshall, just east of Longview near the Louisiana border, has two Republicans slinging lawsuits and ethics complaints over provisions of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act."

•  Interactive: Charting Mexico's Drug-Related Murders by Month: If there is one thing that analysts, historians and journalists can agree on, it’s that the total number of drug-related murders in Mexico since 2006 — when the government began its infamous crackdown on drug cartels — isn’t exact. Use our interactive, which uses two sets of statistics, to track such murders by month.

•  TACC Recommendations Target Next Legislative Session: "Priorities outlined by the Texas Association of Community Colleges — a list it called its 'most comprehensive' ever — emphasize areas like transfer policies between schools and sufficiently funding community colleges.

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