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.
• 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."