• Julian Castro’s next step, and why it might have to wait (The Washington Post): "The question, though, is where Julian Castro — or even his brother — go from here. The sky is the limit for young Latino politicians these days — look at Marco Rubio— but the Castros face an obstacle in their potential rise: their home state. While Julian Castro is mayor of one of the largest cities in the country and Joaquin Castro is a state representative and Congressional candidate, there’s almost certain to be another step (or two) between where they are now and any national ambitions they might hold. And making the leap to statewide office will be difficult for either, at least right now."
• Castro pens Obama fundraising appeal (Politico): "Whatever his next step is — and whatever Obama's fate is in November — Castro is now a national political figure with an opportunity to build a profile and power base that go well beyond San Antonio. Continuing to help Obama's reelection campaign can be part of that effort."
• Editorial: Dallas should compete for 2016 conventions (The Dallas Morning News): "The Democratic National Convention’s keynote address by San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro is just complete, and a few random GOP convention balloons may still be floating around Tampa. But this newspaper hopes Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and other city leaders are already getting down to work on bidding to host a national political convention in 2016."
• Perry a target of opportunity for Democrats (Austin American-Statesman): "Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley recalled debating Texas Gov. Rick Perry several years ago when both men led their party’s association of governors. The debate, sponsored by Politico.com, was 'a rather retro experience,' O’Malley said. As O’Malley left the podium to shake hands with delegates, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa added a second jab at Perry, telling O’Malley that 'it’s really not fair to say you debated Rick Perry, OK? The people here know that’s not a fair fight.'"
• An O’Texan? This laddie will sing to get your 2016 vote (The Dallas Morning News): "With no apologies to Marty Robbins, Marty O’Malley sang the 'Ballad of the Alamo' as he went a’ vote-prospectin’ at the Texas delegation breakfast early Wednesday. O’Malley, whose first name is actually Martin, is the governor of Maryland and head of the Democratic Governors Association."
• State Rep. Aaron Peña demands that Gilberto Hinojosa apologize to Ted Cruz for ‘offensive’ comment (Houston Chronicle): "State Rep. Aaron Peña has taken to Twitter to express his outrage over Democrats questioning of Ted Cruz’s Hispanic roots. 'Who are these self-appointed gatekeepers of Hispanic culture? This is offensive!' tweeted Peña."
New in The Texas Tribune:
• First Lady, Chavez-Thompson Tout Latinos' Role in Re-electing Obama: "Minutes before remarks from first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday, longtime labor organizer and onetime Texas lieutenant governor candidate Linda Chavez-Thompson had the Democratic National Convention’s Hispanic Caucus on its feet."
• Video: Castro on "Morning Joe": "This morning, less than 12 hours after his keynote speech to the Democratic National Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro went on MSNBC's Morning Joe to talk about 'the clear choice that this country has' in November."
• Donna Campbell: The TT Interview: "The likely future state senator from District 25 on which issues she wants to work on while in office, how she would approach the state's budget, what she thinks of the Senate's 'two-thirds' rule and whether or not the public should worry about the Senate's experience gap."
• Lawmakers, Advocates Revisit State's Approach to Solitary Confinement: "As solitary confinement grows in the national spotlight, Texas lawmakers and advocates are concerned about the re-entry of prisoners held for years without much human contact. For many, it's a matter of public safety."