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The Brief: Dec. 23, 2014

A clutch of Southern states are in talks to hold 2016 presidential primaries on the same day, according to a story by James Hohmann of Politico.

The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his...

The Big Conversation

A clutch of Southern states are in talks to hold 2016 presidential primaries on the same day, according to a story by James Hohmann of Politico. The goal of the group, which could end up including Texas, would be to preserve the region's influence on who emerges as the GOP nominee.

Hohmann writes, "Republicans from the South say their states make up the heart of the GOP and that it’s only fitting the region should have commensurate say over whom the party puts forward to compete for the White House. Proponents are already dubbing March 1 the 'SEC primary,' after the NCAA’s powerhouse Southeastern Conference."

For now, five states — Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas — are pushing the regional primary concept. Florida and Texas might join, but others believe those two large states might wait a couple of weeks instead.

Among the states pushing the regional primary, there is some fear that Texas and Florida would end up overwhelming them.

Also, "Florida and Texas are much bigger states with a lot more delegates at stake, but each is very expensive to advertise in. More importantly, both are home to favorite sons who could scare others from competing against them: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio hail from Florida, while Ted Cruz and Rick Perry are from Texas," Hohmann writes. "Under the new RNC rules, states that wait until March 15 can have 'winner take all' primaries, with the candidate receiving the most votes collecting all of a state’s delegates. The potential presidential candidates from Florida and Texas are likely to prefer that."

*** The Brief is taking a break for the holidays. We will return Monday, Jan. 5.

Trib Must-Reads

As Kolkhorst Moves Up, Another Election is Nigh, by Bobby Blanchard

In Their Own Words: Best Quotes of 2014, by Morgan Smith and Annie Daniel

Elsewhere

State officials: Fraud contract bypassed two reviews, Austin American-Statesman

Large fields set for lawmaker special elections, San Antonio Express-News

New report: Texas home prices overvalued, “may be unsustainable”, The Dallas Morning News

Stockman bill would have banned civil forfeiture, Houston Chronicle

Texas has enough drugs for 5 executions, The Associated Press

Quote to Note

"One of the noticeable goals was to ensure that black people did not shoot back to the guys in the white hoods."

— Author and historian Clayton Cramer to the Houston Chronicle on the "troubling Reconstruction-era origins" of the state's ban on carrying handguns

Today in TribTalk

The real threat to the Texas GOP: voter apathy, by Geoff Bailey

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Senate Caucus Chairs Kirk Watson and Joan Huffman on Jan. 12 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With House Public Education Chair Jimmie Don Aycock on Jan. 22 at The Austin Club

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