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The Brief: Jan. 23, 2014

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has put a different frame on the Wendy Davis storyline from this week.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, officially files her candidacy for governor in front of a crowd of supporters at uShip’s headquarters in Austin on Nov. 9, 2013.

The Big Conversation

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has put a different frame on the Wendy Davis storyline from this week — focusing less on the immediate implications of Trailergate and more on what this means for Davis' attempts to position herself for elections to come.

Cillizza's main point is that Davis had to run this year for governor in order to take advantage of the national prominence afforded her from last summer's filibuster. Running this year makes sure she is in the mix in the next couple of election cycles, when Democrats are hoping to run stronger because of the ongoing demographic shifts in the Lone Star State.

At the same time, the field is expected to be more crowded as stars-in-the-making like San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro make their move onto the bigger stage. In other words, the pressure is on the Davis camp to keep her viable through 2018 and beyond.

"What Davis then needs most of all is not to win — although that would be nice for her and her supporters — but rather to be seen as having run a creditable campaign that continues to elevate her star status," Cillizza wrote. "Allegations like these about her résumé, if they persist and/or lead to other problems with the campaign, are perilous to that perception."

Today in the Trib

Texas Regulators Air Concerns on Greenhouse Gas Rules: "Texas appears to be headed for another clash with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over greenhouse gas limits — this time, for existing power plants."

Water, Local Control Issues Paramount In HD-53 Race: "After re-electing Harvey Hilderbran every two years since 1992, the voters in House District 53 are vetting a group of fresh faces and hosting a slew of candidate forums to hear where the GOP primary candidates stand on issue No. 1 — water."

After Failed 911 Call, Family Seeks Hotel Phone Change: "A gruesome murder in a Texas hotel room and a 9-year-old’s futile effort to call 911 has sparked a national petition — and prompted federal officials to seek a legislative remedy."


Hannity to attend State of the Union with Rep. Gohmert, may run for office in Texas, The Dallas Morning News

Texas executes man despite opposition from Mexico, The Associated Press

Fetus in Muñoz case is “distinctly abnormal,” attorneys say, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

City sues firefighters' pension system for more control, Houston Chronicle

Expert: Texas school funding remains inadequate, Austin American-Statesman

Why state workers are leaving their jobs, Austin American-Statesman

Elections Panel Calls On States To Make It Easier To Vote, Huffington Post

Quote to Note

“Well I’m supporting your re-election. And I don’t want it to hurt you, but you’re a good man and I love your principles and I really, really — your letter meant more to me than I think you’re ever going to know.”

Sean Hannity to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on the Sean Hannity Show. Hannity notably backed Ted Cruz over Dewhurst in the 2012 U.S. Senate contest.

News From Home

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation on Our Nation's Future Featuring U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in San Antonio, 1/23

•    Comptroller candidate Debra Medina at the Austin Club, 1/30 

•    Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Austin Club, 2/6

•    Sen. Kel Seliger and Reps. John Smithee and Four Price at West Texas A&M in Canyon, 2/7

•    Reps. Joe Deshotel and Allan Ritter at Lamar University in Beaumont, 2/19

•    Texas Tribune Festival On the Road at The University of Texas El Paso for a daylong symposium on demographic change, 2/27

•    Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

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Explore related story topics

Politics David Dewhurst Julián Castro Louie Gohmert Ted Cruz Wendy Davis