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The Brief: Sept. 18, 2014

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples lost out on his bid to be lieutenant governor, but he might be in line for another job before his term ends in January.

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples - August 29, 2011.

The Big Conversation

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples lost out on his bid to be lieutenant governor, but he might be in line for another job before his term ends in January.

The Tribune's Jim Malewitz is reporting that Staples is set to be named the next head of the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA), the state’s largest and oldest petroleum group. Malewitz cites a source close to Staples saying an announcement is expected today.

"Staples would take over at a time of historic growth in oil and gas production. Spurred by technological advances like hydraulic fracturing, Texas has reached production numbers unseen in more than three decades, helping the state's Rainy Day Fund grow to $8 billion," Malewitz wrote. "The industry has also drawn increased scrutiny from those who have raised concerns about the industry’s impact on the environment, public health and local infrastructure."

Staples would replace Rob Looney, the longtime head of the association, who said in March that he was leaving, Malewitz wrote.

Trib Must-Reads

Abbott, Davis to Meet for High-Stakes Debate, by Jay Root

Texas Supreme Court Weighs Oilfield Fraud Case, by Jim Malewitz

Interactive: 2013 Rates of Uninsured Across Texas, by Marcos Vanetta and Alexa Ura

Woman Executed for Boy's 2004 Starvation Death, by Terri Langford

Education Board Vote Targets Common Core Concerns, by Bobby Blanchard

Perry Urges Mexican President to Visit Texas Border, by Julián Aguilar

Elsewhere

F.T.C. Wary of Mergers by Hospitals, The New York Times

Drilling sends school fund to record high, San Antonio Express-News

Texas court throws 'upskirt' photo law, Houston Chronicle

GOP senators pony up $3M for midterms, Politico

Gov. Sam Brownback bringing Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Wichita, Wichita Eagle

Contempt case renewed against Perry prosecutor, San Antonio Express-News

Group sues to get data about Ken Paxton securities inquiry, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

“It’s called death row because we’ve had so many accidents. All the trucks go along it, and the road’s narrow. … It’s dangerous out there.”

— Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby, on the jump in fatalities along a local highway after the oil and gas boom brought with it an increase in big truck traffic

Today in TribTalk

Blurred lines in polling on governor's race, by Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    1 DAY TO GO: The Texas Tribune Festival starts tomorrow — don't miss your last chance to register!

•    A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, on Sept. 24 at the UTSA Downtown Campus in San Antonio.

•    A Panel Discussion on Demographic Change and the Digital Divide, on Sept. 30 at LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin

•    A Conversation With Kathie Glass, 2014 Libertarian Nominee for Governor, on Oct. 2 at The Austin Club

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