New in The Texas Tribune:
• Election Code Violated in 2 Counties That Skipped Runoffs: "When runoffs were not held in two rural Texas counties that had held primaries in May, the state's election code was violated, according to the secretary of state's office."
• Straus Names Senior Staff: "House Speaker Joe Straus appointed two top aides, one from his current staff and another from outside."
• Death Row Inmate's Sentence Reduced to Life: "Delma Banks Jr., one of Texas death row's longest residents, on Wednesday agreed to a life sentence for the 1980 murder of Richard Whitehead. He will be eligible for parole in 12 years."
• Interactive: Challenges in Medicaid Dental System: "The state's dental program for poor and medically needy children is the subject of serious concerns, as the Tribune has reported. This interactive breaks down Medicaid dental program data as the system poses challenges for lawmakers, dental providers and the children they serve."
• No Refuge (The Texas Observer): "Five years after the infamous raid on the FLDS compound in Eldorado, questions remain about the state's handling of the case and the safety of the children."
• Marco Rubio “excited” about comparisons to Ted Cruz (Houston Chronicle): "Ted Cruz is drawing a lot of comparisons to Tea Party darling Marco Rubio these days (R- Fl.), and today Rubio told Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends show that he was 'excited about it.'"
• Former Senate candidate Craig James seeks donations to pay off campaign debt (The Dallas Morning News): "Former U.S. Senate candidate Craig James confirmed Thursday afternoon that he’s seeking donations to pay off the campaign debt from his first — and ultimately unsuccessful — foray into politics."