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The Brief: May 23, 2014

Confirmation came down from the White House on Thursday night that San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro will be announced on Friday as President Obama's choice to be the next secretary of housing and urban development.

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The Big Conversation

Confirmation came down from the White House on Thursday night that San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro will be announced on Friday afternoon as President Barack Obama's choice to be the next secretary of housing and urban development.

"The move was expected," The New York Times reported, "but White House officials had declined to confirm it publicly until Thursday night. In a statement, a White House official called Mr. Castro, 39, a 'leader among mayors in terms of implementing housing and economic development programs.'”

The San Antonio Express-News, which broke the news on Saturday that Castro was being considered for a Cabinet post, has stories both on the personal and logistical decisions facing Castro in moving to D.C. and the machinations behind choosing his successor as mayor.

The Day Ahead

•    Today is the final day of early voting for the May 27 primary runoff elections.

•    The canvass for the May 10 Senate District 4 special election will be held at 2:45 p.m. at the governor's office.

•    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte are in McAllen on Saturday, where they will host a pachanga.

Today in the Trib

State Fraud Unit Axed, Leaving Fuel Thieves To DAs: "The pursuit of fuel tax bandits is now falling to local prosecutors after a Texas political standoff resulted with the quiet axing of the tiny statewide legal team and some worry that could see a new rise in gasoline theft schemes in the Lone Star State."

MOVE Act Means Longer, Costlier Primary Campaigns: "While no one disputes the intentions of the law, candidates and consultants say compliance with the MOVE Act has increased campaign expenses and shortened the time they can focus on the general election."

Analysis: A Speaker Who May Have Less of a Say: "House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, enters the next legislative session as a clear favorite for re-election, but the issues raised in the conservative wave in this year's elections could dominate the Legislature's calendar."


Dallas among four finalists for 2016 Republican convention, The Dallas Morning News

State commission calls for closing 6 institutions for the disabled, Austin American-Statesman

Texas’ mental care, child abuse agencies ripped in sunset reviews, The Dallas Morning News

Out-of-state ad roils Texas attorney general race, Austin American-Statesman

'Abortion Barbie' posters depicting Wendy Davis appear in L.A., San Antonio Express-News

Open carry groups to rally over Red River dispute, Houston Chronicle

Proposed line could help export Texas wind power, Houston Chronicle

Oh, Brother, Politico

Quote to Note

"You could ask 100 people about the gas pumps, they wouldn't know it. They couldn't even tell you who the agriculture commissioner is."

— Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Jim Hogan on the general public's limited knowledge of the office's duties, such as regulating gas pumps

Today in TribTalk

Why me and not Ryan Sitton, by Wayne Christian: "Texas does not need another smooth talker like my opponent using the Railroad Commission as collateral damage in his journey up the slippery pole that is Republican politics in Texas."

Why me and not Wayne Christian, by Ryan Sitton: "Why would Texans trust someone with zero oil and gas experience to oversee that industry? My experience and technical expertise make me well suited to serve."

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Sen. Glenn Hegar, Candidate for State Comptroller, at the Austin Club, 5/29

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.

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Energy Environment Politics Joe Straus Julián Castro Ken Paxton Sid Miller Wendy Davis