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The Brief: Dec. 8, 2014

Incoming Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear he would not play favorites in 2016, telling Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd in a Sunday appearance on the show that his endorsement would come only after Republicans select their presidential candidate.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson and Department of Public Safety chief Steve M...

The Big Conversation

Incoming Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear he would not play favorites in 2016, telling Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd in a Sunday appearance on the show that his endorsement would come only after Republicans select their presidential candidate.

A couple of Texans — Rick Perry, who currently holds the job Abbott will ascend to next month, and Ted Cruz, Abbott's former solicitor general — are expected by many to mount a run for the White House. Another two men with Texas ties, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush, are also looking at a run.

The Austin American-Statesman's Jonathan Tilove found significance in Abbott's appearance on the longstanding weekly political program. It was the Texas Republican's first appearance on the show, Tilove noted.

"On Sunday, he appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press as leader of a 20-state effort to upend the president’s immigration order. On Monday, in Austin, he will unveil his priorities for the coming legislative session. After 14 years of Perry in power, the Abbott era is now well underway," Tilove wrote in a piece with the headline, "Rick Perry, make way. The Greg Abbott era is here."

The Day Ahead

•    Gov.-elect Greg Abbott holds an 11:30 a.m. press conference at the Capitol. On the agenda is a further update on the gubernatorial transition and on his legislative priorities for the new session.

Trib Must-Reads

Parade Of Open Carry Bills Exposes Divide In Ranks, by Morgan Smith

For Abbott, a Balancing Act of Far Right and Hispanics, by Alexa Ura

Analysis: Cruz, Business Joust Over Online Taxes, by Ross Ramsey

Kolkhorst Wins Special State Senate Election, by Bobby Blanchard

Elsewhere

ER doctor discusses role in Ebola patient’s initial misdiagnosis, The Dallas Morning News

GOP maneuver steers clear of Cruz budget showdown on immigration, Houston Chronicle

Tax relief figures high on legislative budget priorities, San Antonio Express-News

Instant racing saved Arkansas horse track: Is Texas next?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Tesla wants Texas auto sales regulations loosened, The Associated Press

Diminishing returns: Only seven white Democrats in new Legislature, Austin American-Statesman

Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General, The New York Times

Bush and C.I.A. Ex-Officials Rebut Torture Report, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“And she said, 'You’ve just got to understand, there’s just a lot of black folks around who are incredibly — more and more — distrusting of law enforcement.' Which is a shame because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.”

— Former President George W. Bush, recounting to CNN a dinner conversation with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice where the death of Eric Garner came up

Today in TribTalk

Tuition deregulation is failing Texas students, by Charles Schwertner

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Panel Discussion on the Transformation of Medical Education in Texas, on Dec. 9 at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

•    Meet the New Guys: A Conversation With Incoming Members of the Texas Senate on Dec. 11 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With U.S. Rep.-elect Will Hurd on Dec. 18 in Austin

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