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The Brief: Nov. 6, 2014

Greg Abbott readily took on the mantle of governor-elect on Wednesday while others searched for the reason for the Wendy Davis implosion in the governor's race.

Governor-elect Greg Abbott announces that Daniel Hodge will lead his transition team on Nov. 5, 2014.

The Big Conversation

Greg Abbott readily took on the mantle of governor-elect on Wednesday, laying out positions on the Texas Enterprise Fund, open-carry laws and border security while meeting with reporters.

Reporting for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dave Montgomery quoted Abbott as saying“If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it’s good enough for the state of Texas. If an open-carry bill is passed by the House and Senate and arrives at my desk, I will sign it into law.”

Montgomery added, "Abbott also served notice that he wants to take a hard look at the job-creating Texas Enterprise Fund, one of Perry’s pet initiatives that faced sharp criticism in a recent state audit. Abbott said the fund, which grants incentives to attract companies to Texas, is 'on the table' as a program to be thoroughly evaluated."

Also on Wednesday, the Tribune's Jay Root wrote an extensive postmortem on the missteps by the Wendy Davis campaign, which ended up winning less than 39 percent of the vote in the governor's contest. In a nutshell, Root finds that inconsistencies in messaging and tactics led Davis, the most exciting Democratic candidate for governor in 20 years, to squander many of her built-in advantages.

Davis probably never had a modicum of a chance to win the Texas governor’s race. The 2014 election turned out to be another wave election that cost Democrats the U.S. Senate, governor’s races in heavily Democratic states and competitive legislative races across the land, including here.

But for more than a year, Democrats were crowing that with a well-funded turnout operation, Davis was the kind of candidate who could at least move the needle for the bedraggled party, which hadn’t won a statewide election since 1994. In one sense they were correct: She moved the needle, all right — backward.

The Day Ahead

•    Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick drops by the Austin Club for a TribLive conversation. We will livestream the event beginning at 8 a.m. for those unable to attend in person.

Trib Must-Reads

In Texas Boomtowns, More Traffic Means More Deaths, by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht and Tamir Kalifa

Perry to Make First Courtroom Appearance, by Terri Langford

Should City Voters Pick the Ag Commissioner?, by Neena Satija

Bexar County Voting Machine Omits Abbott, by Bobby Blanchard

Map: How Democratic Turnout Tumbled Across Texas, by Ryan Murphy and Ross Ramsey

Elsewhere

Ted Cruz: 'Under no circumstances' will I run for majority leader, The Hill

On Cruz control in the new GOP Senate majority, Houston Chronicle

Hensarling won’t challenge Boehner, Politico

Filibuster May Have Set Texas Democrats Up for Failure, Texas Observer

Hurd overpowered Gallego with S.A.-area support, San Antonio Express-News

State Rep. Reynolds cruises to re-election while on trial for barratry, Houston Chronicle

G.O.P.’s Inroads With Latinos Hint at a Path for 2016, The New York Times

Nurse insists she is ‘not reckless’, The Dallas Morning News

Texas sales tax posts biggest single-month jump in two years, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

"I feel like roadkill. Nothing worked."

— Battleground Texas volunteer Cari Parker, summing up her feelings the day after the electoral shellacking administered by the Republicans

Today in TribTalk

Why Texas stayed so red, by Ted Delisi

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Dec. 4 at The Austin Club

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