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The Evening Brief: July 16, 2013

Your evening reading: Abbott disputes claims he made deal not to run against Perry; Dewhurst ad touts abortion bill; Perry signs South Texas university bill

Greg Abbott greets supporters at La Villita in San Antonio on July 14, 2013, after announcing his candidacy for governor.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Abbott: No Deal Not to Run Against Perry: "Attorney General Greg Abbott, stepping out of the long shadow cast by the famous politician he wants to replace, is disputing claims that he had a deal not to run against Gov. Rick Perry and says he hasn’t hesitated to oppose him when it was right for Texas."

•    Video: Dewhurst Ad Touts Abortion Bill's Passage: "Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst released a re-election campaign video Tuesday touting his faith and his work on the recently passed legislation increasing abortion restrictions."

•    In Rio Grande Valley, Perry Signs South Texas University Bill: "In two emotional ceremonies — one at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg and the other at the University of Texas at Brownsville — Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed a bill that will merge the two institutions to create a new university that includes a medical school and spans the Rio Grande Valley."

•    Fundraising Reports Offer Chance to Stand Out in Crowded Statewide Races: "Monday's fundraising reporting deadline offered an early look at how the candidates running in the crowded 2014 races for lieutenant governor and attorney general stack up financially."

•    UT System Pushes Back Against Criticism of Regent Hall: "The University of Texas System has begun pushing back against allegations from the University of Texas at Austin administration and state lawmakers regarding Regent Wallace Hall, as a House committee considers whether to bring articles of impeachment against the regent."

•    State Auditor Finds Lacking Oversight of Testing Contract: "After a report from the State Auditor's Office pointed out flaws in the Texas Education Agency's oversight of a $462 million testing contract, the agency said Tuesday it will 'immediately' implement new monitoring guidelines."

Culled

•    The Life and Death (and Life?) of the Party (Texas Monthly): "Democrats once ruled Texas. Then came five decades of steady decline. Can Wendy Davis, the Castro brothers, and team Obama's vaunted field operation return their party to power? And if they can't, can anyone?"

•    GOP showdown: Republican Rodney Anderson to challenge Linda Harper-Brown for Texas House (The Dallas Morning News): "Former state Rep. Rodney Anderson Tuesday announced that’s he’s challenging Linda Harper-Brown for the Irving/Grand Prairie-based seat in the Texas House."

•    Democrats See Gains With Women Voters in State Abortion Laws (Bloomberg): "A vote by Texas lawmakers to create some of the nation’s strongest abortion restrictions will play into 2014 election campaigns and might also spur Republican presidential candidates in 2016 to push for stricter limits. … Democrats already are using Texas to try to boost their 2014 congressional fundraising, calling it part of a 'War on Women' being waged by Republicans. They said it will expand their electoral advantage with women. 'This is going to propel a lot of women into the political process,' said U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, in an interview today. 'It sends another message to women that the Republican Party doesn’t understand them or their needs.'"

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