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Cruz Strikes While Iron Is Hot, Raises $772K Post Debate

Also, Hillary Clinton lends a tweet of support to Houston's HERO ordinance, spurring a rebuke from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Sen. Ted Cruz at the third GOP debate, held in Boulder, Colorado, on Oct. 28, 2015.

Ted Cruz's presidential campaign raised $772,000 through midnight Wednesday on the heels of a well-received debate performance, according to an aide to the Texas Republican senator.

The haul puts Cruz on track to easily top his previous post-debate fundraising. He raked in $1 million in the first 100 hours after the first debate and just as much in less than half that time following the second debate.

Cruz won plaudits Wednesday night for his spirited criticism of the moderators at the third GOP debate at the University of Colorado Boulder. He told the CNBC journalists that the debate "is not a cage match" and urged them to ask more substantive questions.

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Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton voiced her support for Houston's nondiscrimination ordinance, better known as HERO, ahead of Tuesday's municipal election.

The Obama administration also voiced support for the ordinance on Thursday, though a statement from White House spokesman Jeff Tiller.

“While the Administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the President and Vice President have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love," said Tiller. "We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality.”

The Clinton tweet drew a rebuttal from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who said in an email to supporters, “This is misleading and disqualifying for someone who claims to be a champion for women. Equality is already the law in Houston. Prop 1 is really about letting men use women's public restrooms and locker rooms.”

The ordinance prohibits discrimination against an individual based on a list of 15 characteristics including their sex, sexual orientation, race, age and disability.

The ordinance was approved by the Houston City Council in 2014, but it faced an immediate backlash from conservative activists who circulated petitions calling for its repeal. The opponents eventually filed a lawsuit and the Texas Supreme Court ruled the city council had to repeal the ordinance or hold a public vote.

The ordinance could serve as a big test for Texas LGBT rights activists.

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Martin O’Malley, Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland governor, is visiting Austin and Dallas to discuss his “his vision and progressive experience.” He’ll start his trip on Nov. 12 with an evening reception in Austin, and then he’ll head to Dallas for a breakfast the following morning.

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