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Ted Cruz Adds Supporters in Nevada, South Carolina

Also, Gov. Greg Abbott lines up another international business development trip — this time to Israel and Switzerland.

U.S. Sen. and presidential contender Ted Cruz campaigns in Greenville, South Carolina on Dec. 7, 2015.

Ted Cruz's presidential campaign on Wednesday rolled out a trio of endorsements that could give him a boost in the first few early voting states and nationally.

The first backer was Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a rising-star Republican in the No. 4 early voting state. The Republican strategist leading the Cruz campaign in the Silver State, Robert Uithoven, was behind Laxalt's come-from-behind victory in 2014.

Then the Cruz campaign announced the support of Charlie Condon, the former attorney general of South Carolina. He has extensive experience with presidential campaigns in the first-in-the-South primary state, helping lead efforts there for John McCain in 2008, George W. Bush in 2000 and Bob Dole in 1996.

And the third figure to get behind Cruz was Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame. Cruz's campaign released the reality TV star's endorsement in the form of a video showing the two on a recent duck hunt.

“My qualifications for president of the United States are rather narrow: Is he or she Godly, does he or she love us, can he or she do the job, and finally would they kill a duck and put him in a pot and make him a good duck gumbo?” Robertson says in the minute-long video. “I've looked at the candidates. Ted Cruz is my man. He fits the bill."


Two super PACs supporting Cruz are launching a national radio ad buy valued at more than $1 million.

The pair of groups, Keep the Promise PAC and Keep the Promise I, announced Wednesday the buy features several ads set to run Monday through March 1 across the country and in the first four early voting states. The buy, which also includes digital spots, totals $1.29 million.

One of the ads features a pro-Cruz testimonial from the aforementioned Robertson.


Gov. Greg Abbott is heading to Israel and Switzerland on a business development trip next week. The trip, paid for by TexasOne, the state's economic development corporation, includes a stop at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Former Gov. Rick Perry spoke at the same confab in 2014.

Between Jan. 18 and Jan. 22, Abbott will tour businesses and hold meetings with public officials and business executives in both countries, according to the governor's office. This is Abbott's third international business trip, after a visit to Cuba in December and one to Mexico in September.

"The combination of Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation environment and our skilled workforce is attracting more foreign direct investment to make the Lone Star State a hub for global commerce,” Abbott said in a prepared statement.


For your calendars… the Hill Country Alliance has announced a Jan. 27 candidate forum for the six Republican candidates and lone Democrat vying for the open SD-24 seat.

The two-hour forum is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. with a welcome set for 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg.

The half-dozen GOP candidates set to appear at the forum are: Dawn Buckingham, Jon Cobb, Ryan DowntonSusan King, Brent Mayes and Reed Williams. The Democrat in the race is Jennie Lou Leeder.

They are running to succeed Horseshoe Bay Republican Troy Fraser who has decided against a run for re-election.


Democrat Steve Brown, who’s running for state representative in House District 27, is calling for a series of debates with his primary opponents. State Rep. Ron Reynolds is the incumbent in the race.

Brown is proposing a minimum of four debates on issues related to public education, the economy, health care and transportation.

Along with Brown and Reynolds, there are two other candidates running for the nomination.


The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign sent former U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk early this week to the key early voting state of South Carolina as a campaign surrogate.

 The trip planned for Monday and Tuesday included appearances before a Democratic Club luncheon in Hilton Head and a roundtable in Charleston with the Southeastern Chamber of Commerce.

Kirk served as Dallas mayor and was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2002.

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