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The Brief: Nov. 6, 2013

In the end, the only electoral drama on Prop 6 was how quickly the wire services would make the call after the polls closed in El Paso.

House Speaker Joe Straus and state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock celebrate the passage of Proposition 6 on Nov. 5, 2013.

Editor's note: This article originally contained an incorrect link to a story about Houston Mayor Annise Parker's re-election. The link has been corrected.

The Big Conversation

In the end, the only electoral drama on Prop 6 was how quickly the wire services would make the call after the polls closed in El Paso.

The much-publicized water measure, which would draw $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to help finance water infrastructure projects, had the support of about three-quarters of those who cast ballots in the constitutional amendment election.

It led to early celebrations for Prop 6 backers, including House Speaker Joe Straus, state Rep. Allan Ritter and state Sen. Troy Fraser, at the Rattle Inn in Austin on Tuesday evening. Straus said, "I'm very, very proud of Texas and of our state Legislature for taking this very strong step forward." Fraser added that voters "by their vote today … are going to supply a good supply of water to their children, grandchildren and all future Texans so all of them and Texas can continue to grow."

More than 1 million votes were cast in the first statewide election held under new requirements to present photo ID at the polling place. Voters gave their approval to all nine constitutional amendments. Aside from the water measure, voters also provided tax relief to surviving spouses of military members and exempted partially disabled veterans and their spouses on homes donated to them by charitable organizations, as the Tribune's Ross Ramsey and Neena Satija reported.

In other races of note, Houston voters re-elected Annise Parker as mayor, but Harris County voters rejected a bond proposal to repurpose the Astrodome, probably sealing the fate of the historic stadium. And in Travis County, voters in House District 50 chose Democrat Celia Israel and Republican Mike VanDeWalle for a runoff in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Mark Strama.


•    Astrodome likely to be razed after voters refuse to pony up for conversion (The Associated Press): "Memories will probably soon be all that’s left of the Houston Astrodome — the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium. Voters on Tuesday did not approve a referendum that would have authorized up to $217 million in bonds to turn the stadium that once hosted both professional baseball and football games into a giant convention and event center and exhibition space. Houston-area leaders have said the so-called 'Eighth Wonder of the World' would likely have to be torn down if the ballot measure failed to pass."

•    Race for Austin Texas House seat heads to runoff (The Associated Press): "Democrat Celia Israel and Republican Mike VanDeWalle are headed to a runoff to replace state Rep. Mark Strama in a district including parts of north Austin and eastern Travis County. A Democrat, Strama resigned his Texas House District 50 seat in June to lead Austin's Google Fiber project."

•    Parker sails to 3rd term as mayor (Houston Chronicle): "Mayor Annise Parker bested Ben Hall and seven other challengers Tuesday, easily avoiding a runoff and shifting her focus to a third and final two-year term as Houston's 61st mayor. 'I love this city,' she told supporters from a confetti-strewn stage, with partner Kathy Hubbard and family at her side. 'Tonight I feel it loves me back.'"

•    In Dallas, Obama will pressure Perry to expand Medicaid (The Dallas Morning News): President Obama will use his time in Dallas on Wednesday to ramp up pressure on Gov. Rick Perry to expand Medicaid, aides said – a step that could lop 1.4 million Texans off the rolls of the uninsured. The president will call on Perry to join 'reasonable Republican governors in states like Ohio and Michigan and Arizona' who already have agreed to such an expansion, Davis Simas, a senior White House health care advisor, said Tuesday.

Quote to Note: "There's less Wonder in the world tonight. #Astrodome" — Texas Monthly paying its respects via Twitter to the Astrodome, which appears on its way to a wrecking ball after voters rejected a bond measure to convert it into an event center


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