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The Brief: Cruz Takes Wisconsin, Calls Victory a Turning Point

Ted Cruz easily won the GOP presidential primary in Wisconsin on Tuesday, spurring the Texas senator to call the win a “turning point” in his battle against Donald Trump for the nomination.

U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Ted Cruz talks to a voter in Wisconsin ahead of that state's Tuesday primary on April 3, 2016.

The Big Conversation

Ted Cruz easily won the GOP presidential primary in Wisconsin on Tuesday, spurring the Texas senator to call the win a “turning point” in his battle against Donald Trump for the nomination.

The Tribune’s Patrick Svitek wrote that the Cruz campaign had identified Wisconsin, which was the only contest on the calendar yesterday, as a place where they might begin to halt Trump’s momentum.

As of late Tuesday night, Cruz appeared to be closing in on a solid double-digit victory over Trump. Cruz had worked the state hard over the past couple of weeks, Svitek wrote, “getting a head start on Trump and pressing an economic message tailored for the state's blue-collar voters. Cruz had the support of (Wisconsin Gov. Scott) Walker, a former rival, and a number of influential radio hosts determined to stop Trump.”

Conversely, the Wisconsin vote could eventually prove a turning point for Trump “although it has yet to be seen whether the trajectory from here points downward or upward,” wrote The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, Jose A. DelReal and Robert Costa.

“The strength and the weakness of his unconventional campaign has been Trump himself. He has functioned in many ways as his own chief strategist, political consultant, policy czar and communications guru,” they wrote. “The limitations of that approach have become more apparent as the campaign has been spread more thinly and as the field of competitors has narrowed.”

The fight moves east next with the New York primary set for April 19. That’s followed by five contests along the Atlantic seaboard a week later, highlighted by the Pennsylvania nominating contest.

Trib Must Reads

Texas Supreme Court To Rehear "Bizarre" Pipeline Case, by Jim Malewitz — Five years after issuing a ruling cheered by property rights advocates, the Texas Supreme Court is set to rehear a case pitting two Texas brothers against a pipeline company that seized their land through eminent domain.

Killer Faces Execution in Boy's Death, by Jolie McCullough — Pablo Lucio Vasquez, who admitted slitting the throat of a 12-year-old boy and beating him to death before stealing a ring and necklace from the body 18 years ago, is set for execution Wednesday evening. 

The Day Ahead

•    The House Economic & Small Business Development Committee meets at 9 a.m. at the Richland College Garland Campus. Lawmakers will evaluate what local governments are doing to attract businesses, examine how the state can support them and look at Texas’ competitiveness in creating new jobs. Area cities and chambers of commerce will provide testimony about their economic development efforts.

•    The House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the state budget for health and human services will hear invited testimony discussing the historical growth of the state Medicaid program and its programs that provide long-term service and support to people with medical, physical or intellectual and developmental disabilities. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in the Capitol extension.

•    Gov. Greg Abbott will be in Dallas to deliver the welcoming address at 1 p.m. for the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit 


Trump Reveals How He Would Force Mexico to Pay for Border Wall, The Washington Post

DPS Director Won’t Release Racial Profiling Investigations, KXAN

In Railroad Commission race, an unlikely duel of insider and outsider, Austin American-Statesman 

91 percent of sexual assaults go unreported to police, UT-Austin study shows, The Dallas Morning News 

What do Texas and California have in common? 'Negative power' caused by renewables glut, Bloomberg 

UTA conference focuses on more Texans earning college degrees, Fort Worth Star-Telegram 

Obama hits Cruz for ‘draconian’ ideas and Trump for ‘half-baked’ border wall plan, The Dallas Morning News 

Cash-strapped charter schools vie for federal development funds, Houston Chronicle 

TDCJ: Clements inmate wasn't starved, Amarillo Globe-News

Drug compounders accuse Dallas Morning News of libel, The Dallas Morning News 

Quote to Note

“He is senator smear.”

— Presidential hopeful John Kasich attacking Ted Cruz, who ahead of his win last night in Wisconsin had begun to attack the Ohio governor for staying in the race for the GOP nomination.

Today in TribTalk

Post-Trump politics in Texas, by Jim Henson and Joshua Blank — The rise of mogul-turned-presidential candidate Donald Trump may contribute to the demise of GOP efforts to attract Latino voters to the party — or at least to avoid alienating them in large numbers. 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation with Sen. Carlos Uresti and Rep. Poncho Nevárez on April 13 at Sul Ross State University in Alpine

•    A Conversation with Dawn Buckingham on April 21 at the Austin Club

•    A Conversation on San Antonio & the Legislature: The Issues in the Interim on April 26 at the University of Texas at San Antonio

•    A Symposium on the Texas Economy on April 29 at the University of Houston

•    The Texas Tribune's third Texas-centric Trivia Night on May 1 at The Highball in Austin

•    A Conversation on Mental Health Matters on May 10 at KLRU Studio 6A in Austin

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