The Big Conversation

The rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the GOP lieutenant governor's race — personified by state Sen. Dan Patrick — is angering several Hispanic party leaders to the point where one of them is considering voting for a Democrat in the general election.

Massey Villarreal, a Houston businessman and former national chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, told the Houston Chronicle's Lisa Falkenberg that he will vote for Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor should Patrick get his party's nomination. "'I don't know of one Hispanic Republican who isn't appalled by Dan Patrick,' Villarreal wrote in an email that prompted me to call him," wrote Falkenberg. "'If Dan Patrick wins, he will be the Pete Wilson of Texas.'"

Others calling out Patrick for his stand on immigration in the Falkenberg piece included George Antuna, co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas; Lionel Sosa, a Hispanic Republican active in the party for decades; and Marisa Rummell, the Texas chairwoman for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. "The thing Patrick doesn't seem to get," Falkenberg wrote, "or maybe he'd rather not think too hard about, is that for many Texans, attacks on immigrants are personal. They're attacks against mom or dad, or grandma."

The Day Ahead

•    The TribLive conversation series lands in Canyon for a chat with Sen. Kel Seliger and Reps. John Smithee and Four Price at West Texas A&M. The Tribune will livestream the 12 p.m. event.

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•    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is in Hurst on Saturday evening to speak at the Tarrant County Republican Party's 2014 Lincoln Day Dinner

Today in the Trib

Endorsements That Sometimes Include a Financial Angle: "For voters who don't know all of the candidates, slate cards that list this or that group's endorsements in the primaries can be useful. And sometimes, that drives the campaigns batty."

"Invasion" Talk Fuels Concern for GOP Hispanic Outreach: "There are few differences between the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor on immigration, but the issue has taken center stage. Heated rhetoric has drawn concern from groups focused on courting Hispanic voters."

Texas A&M University Expands Emerging "Genius Corps": "Nine internationally renowned researchers from various fields will be welcomed on Friday as fellows of the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study, part of a group that administrators have nicknamed the Genius Corps."

San Antonio Shelves Groundwater Projects: "More than three years after San Antonio Water System asked the private sector to develop plans for a new water supply for the growing region, the utility has decided not to use any of them."


Davis surprises with support for 'open carry', Houston Chronicle

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Chris Christie gets chilly reception on his visit to North Texas, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Paul Foster apparently attends secret Koch brothers meeting, El Paso Times

Harris County losing residents to affluent neighboring counties, Census finds, Houston Chronicle

Behind Retreat on Immigration, a Complicated Political Interplay, The New York Times

Who Has To Pay Marlise Munoz's Medical Bills?, Texas Monthly

Quote to Note

"I have made the Kool-Aid for many years for other Hispanics to come into the party — I made the Kool-Aid and people drank it. And I refuse to make that kind of Kool-Aid anymore. Not for this party. Not for these leaders."

— Massey Villarreal, former national chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, expressing his disillusionment with the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has taken over the lite guv primary contest 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Sid Miller, Candidate for Ag Commissioner at the Austin Club, 2/13

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•    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

•    A Conversation With Sen. Charles Schwertner and Reps. John Raney and Kyle Kacal at Texas A&M University in College Station, 3/27

•    A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13

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

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