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The Brief: Feb. 4, 2014

Greg Abbott has reversed the campaign fundraising storyline of a month ago, raising more than three times the cash as the combined efforts of Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas.

Greg Abbott, then a candidate for governor and now the governor-elect, spoke at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12, 2013. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who was also running for governor, spoke to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

The Big Conversation

Greg Abbott raised more than three times as much money in the first three weeks of the year as did the combined efforts of Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas. That reverses last month's storyline, which had Davis and the Democrats showing they had achieved something like parity in the battle for campaign cash.

More will be known on Tuesday as the full reports are posted online for inspection, but the top-line numbers for the two campaigns for governor are the following: $3.1 million raised by Abbott and nearly $913,000 raised by two Davis campaign accounts and an allied effort with Battleground Texas to turn the state blue. Abbott now has $29.4 million in cash on hand while Davis has $10.2 million.

"The comparison," wrote the Houston Chronicle's Peggy Fikac, "could take off some of the shine from the big money that Davis hauled in during the last six months of 2013 when, counting the same three fundraising committees, she took in $12.2 million compared with $11.5 million for Abbott, long a top fundraiser."

The Day Ahead

•    Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is in Dallas to unveil his "Securing Texans" policy. The Texas Tribune is livestreaming the 12:30 p.m. event.

•    Two candidates for agriculture commissioner — Eric Opiela and Sid Miller — are expected at an 11:30 a.m. meeting of the Republican Club of Austin.

Today in the Trib

Comptroller Hopefuls Tout Reviving Clinton-Era Reviews: "More than 20 years after then-Texas Comptroller John Sharp launched a popular program to cut government waste, the candidates to be the next comptroller are talking about reviving it."

Report: Texas Leads Nation in 2013 Exonerations: "Texas in 2013 exonerated more people who were wrongfully convicted of crimes than any other state, according to a new report."

In Grid Debate, New Info Doesn't Sway Opinion: "Should Texas overhaul its electricity market? And if so, how much would it cost? A highly anticipated report has shed some light on those questions amid an increasingly contentious debate."

Texans Look Beneath the Surface for Water: "Take a look back at Beneath the Surface, our five-part series on the state's growing interest in groundwater. While more Texans are counting on groundwater to fuel the state's economic growth, legal and regulatory hurdles provide challenges."


Gloves come off in GOP Texas lieutenant governor race, Austin American-Statesman

Ted Cruz makes nice, Politico

Stockman, in NY for another Bitcoin event, skips more votes in House, The Dallas Morning News

Report: Texas AG Greg Abbott received more from payday lenders than previously stated, El Paso Times

Castro to feds: cut out the middleman for preschool funds, San Antonio Express-News

Texas abortion rate lowest since 1970s, Houston Chronicle

Could Texas become home to highly radioactive waste?, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

"I mean, [Bob] Bullock when I knew him was really a Republican. That’s what I want to do. And what’s good for Texas is good for the Republican Party, and vice versa. What the Republicans don’t realize right now is that we are where the Democrats were when they lost it 25 years ago. We have become so insular and we have reached the point where the other party is not competitive. So we don’t worry about November, which is dangerous. It really is."

— Land Commissioner and GOP lite guv candidate Jerry Patterson, telling the Waco Tribune-Herald how he would change the tone in the Texas Senate if he wins

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    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, Allan Ritter and James White 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

•    Live Post-Primary Election TribCast at the Austin Club, 3/5

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

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Explore related story topics

Health care Politics Dan Patrick David Dewhurst Four Price Greg Abbott James White Joe Deshotel John Smithee Julián Castro Kel Seliger Sid Miller Ted Cruz Wendy Davis