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The Brief: Nov. 7, 2014

It wasn't just Republicans in Texas who were celebrating big statehouse gains on Tuesday.

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The Big Conversation

It wasn't just Republicans in Texas who were celebrating big statehouse gains on Tuesday.

"For statehouse Republicans, 'it's their strongest position in nearly a century,' said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures," reported The Associated Press. "Republicans will have full control of at least 29 state legislatures, according to the conference, the party's largest total since 1928, perhaps earlier. The GOP will hold at least 32 governorships, including newly won offices in traditionally Democratic Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts."

In other words, this high water mark for GOP influence in state legislatures could mean more emphasis on the party's political priorities of lower taxes, decreased regulation, greater restrictions on abortion and greater gun rights. And, unlike in Washington, GOP state legislators might find it easier to implement their agenda with many states, like Texas, having both the legislative and executive branches controlled by the same party.

"Republican governors or legislative leaders in Maryland, Maine, New York, Texas and West Virginia also are already talking of tax cuts," according to The AP. "Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott has promised to make an expansion of school vouchers and charter schools a priority for his new Republican administration that will be paired with an even larger GOP majority in the House and Senate."

Trib Must-Reads

In Heart of Eagle Ford, Karnes City Peers Beyond Boom, by Jim Malewitz

Obama Action on Immigration Could Benefit Texas Economy, by Julián Aguilar

Analysis: Tuesday Aside, It Was All Over in March, by Ross Ramsey

Abbott Campaign Credits Sophisticated Turnout Machine, by Jay Root

Water Project Funds Ready to Flow — Almost, by Neena Satija

Perry Attorneys Try to Disqualify Prosecutor, by Terri Langford

Davis is Latest to Fail With "Austin Insider" Attack, by Aman Batheja


Democrats' election coalition splintered in Harris County, Houston Chronicle

Texas Latino vote splits, Houston Chronicle

Texas Democrats say exit polling on Hispanics is inaccurate, Austin American-Statesman

Texas sending first black Republican to Congress, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Has the Tea Party been tamed?, The Hill

Midterms, for Clinton Team, Aren’t All Gloom, The New York Times

Choice of vaquero as UT-RGV mascot proves controversial, San Antonio Express-News

Analyst: Set aside 2006 school property tax cut, and Texas already obeys spending cap sought by fiscal hawks, The Dallas Morning News

Ebola outbreak in Dallas officially ends on Friday, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

“There is no way, no how, that I can vote to agree to cut education. I won't be able to come home, because I'm married to a public-school teacher. I'd be sleeping outside with my German shepherd.”

— Newly elected Republican state Rep. Rick Galindo of Bexar County, who scored an upset win Tuesday in House District 117

Today in TribTalk

In Houston, better air isn't good air, by Adrian Shelley

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Panel Discussion on Education 2.0, on Nov. 13 at the San Antonio Central Library

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

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Energy Environment Health care Higher education Politics Barack Obama Greg Abbott John Cornyn Rick Perry Wendy Davis