New in The Texas Tribune:
• SD-6 Election Set for Jan. 26: "Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday that a special election on Jan. 26 will decide who will follow the late state Sen. Mario Gallegos in representing Harris County. … The election will likely come down to a choice between two veteran Democrats: Sylvia Garcia, a former Harris County commissioner, and state Rep. Carol Alvarado, who also served six years on the Houston City Council."
• Mexico's New Political Regime Sparks Human Rights Activism in Texas: "Weeks after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's inauguration, a group of activists in Texas is organizing a new effort they say will serve as a watchdog to monitor Mexico's treatment of its citizens."
• Updated Data App: Track Texas Reservoir Levels: Texas endured the most intense drought in recorded state history in 2011, and it has yet to bounce back. Water levels at a number of reservoirs remain significantly low, particularly in West Texas. Using data collected from the Texas Water Development Board's reservoir status tracker, we are relaunching our auto-updating map that visualizes the current state of Texas reservoirs.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
• Bill Renews Debate on Merging Top Two Courts: "State Rep. Richard Peña Raymond has filed a bill to abolish the Court of Criminal Appeals and bring all of its related cases under the Texas Supreme Court. He's triggering a debate that goes all the way back to Reconstruction."
• Neil Cavuto cuts off Rep. E.B. Johnson (Politico): "Fox News' Neil Cavuto cut to commercial during a heated interview with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson where the congresswoman told him to 'shut up for just a second' and he later called their discussion 'a total waste of time.'"
• Latino Groups Warn Congress to Fix Immigration, or Else (The New York Times): "The nation’s largest Latino organizations warned Congress on Wednesday that they will keep a report card during the immigration debate next year, with plans to mobilize their voters against lawmakers who do not support a comprehensive immigration bill."
• Texas judge lifts order on TransCanada pipeline (The Associated Press): "TransCanada can resume oil pipeline work on a private Texas property for now, a judge said Thursday, at least until a hearing next week meant to determine whether the product the company wants to transport is in fact crude oil."
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.