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The Brief: Feb. 10, 2014

News broke Sunday night of a big move at the UT System: Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will be stepping down after a successor is named.

UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa listens as UT Regents announce the turning over of records to legislators on April 11, 2013.

The Big Conversation

News broke Sunday night of a big move at the UT System: Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will be stepping down after a successor is named.

What began as a story citing unnamed sources soon was confirmed when an email disclosing his plans was given to members of the media. The announcement will be made Monday morning. In the email, Cigarroa said he expected the search for his successor would begin in the coming weeks.

It was reported that Cigarroa plans to take over as head of pediatric transplant surgery at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio upon his departure as chancellor. "The unexpected development," wrote the Austin American-Statesman's Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, "reflects Cigarroa’s passion for surgery — he has performed liver and kidney transplants every three or four weeks since becoming chancellor five years ago — but is also a sign that he has grown weary of dealing with a deeply divided Board of Regents."

The Day Ahead

•    Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is in El Paso to continue the rollout of his "Securing Texans" plan.

Today in the Trib

Candidates Enter the Spending Season: "Campaigns, always trying to raise money, shift into another gear when the primaries are looming: It's time to spend some of that cash."

Texans' Water Conservation Reward: Higher Rates: "Drought-stricken Texas cities have succeeded in encouraging residents to slash water consumption — but they have lost money in the process by selling less water. That means everyone must pay higher rates."

Governor Candidates Sparring Over “Third World” Remark: "Greg Abbott's comparison of South Texas corruption to 'third-world country practices' has made the GOP gubernatorial candidate a target for Democrats and drawn criticism from border leaders."

Town's Stance on Famed Convict Changes Over 15 Years: "When Bernie Tiede went to trial in 1999 for murdering a wealthy Carthage widow, many in the town wanted the young man to see a light punishment. But 15 years into his life sentence, many now say prison is where he belongs."

New in TW Politics

Hilderbran Releases Second TV Ad, "Fighter": "GOP comptroller candidate Harvey Hilderbran vows in new ad to make the comptroller's office 'even more business friendly.'" ($)


New PAC aims to push influence of staunch conservatives in Texas House primaries, The Dallas Morning News

Davis keeps up fire on Abbott's 'third world' comment, Houston Chronicle

Review of child deaths in Texas uncovers lapses, lies at Child Protective Services, Austin American-Statesman

David Dewhurst’s 2012 campaign still owes vendors more than $1 million, The Dallas Morning News

Rand Paul, visiting Dallas, says he’s considering White House bid, The Dallas Morning News

Republicans square off in race for Texas House District 92, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Nuclear Waste Solution Seen in Desert Salt Beds, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“Her race is just one of many that I have my eye on where this is the narrative, where you’ve got these tea party candidates challenging old incumbents. And you’re going to have [Karl] Rove throwing all of his money and American Crossroads throwing all of that money, plus the Chamber of Commerce, plus these ‘Main Street Republican’ partnership types who are funded by who? Big labor. And the tea party candidates, I think, are going to follow in the path of Ted Cruz and somehow be able to triumph over all of that money.”

— Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin on why she backs Tea Party leader Katrina Pierson in her primary challenge to Congressman Pete Sessions, R-Dallas

Trib Events for the Calendar

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

•    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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Explore related story topics

Health care Politics David Dewhurst Greg Abbott Pete Sessions Sid Miller Ted Cruz Wendy Davis