Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler has tapped the state party's parliamentarian to lead the committee that will select nearly a third of the 155 delegates the Lone Star State is sending to the Republican National Convention.

Lou "Butch" Davis will helm the National Nominations Committee, according to a list of state convention committee appointments shared with the Tribune on Saturday. When the panel meets at the state GOP convention in Dallas, which is being held May 12-14, the committee will pick 44 at-large delegates to the national convention, which are divided between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and billionaire Donald Trump, based on the results of the March 1 primary.

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The Cruz campaign released a new web ad on Thursday. Entitled, “War Room,” it imagines a strategy session of Hillary Clinton and her advisors in which they discuss how they would attack Donald Trump in the November general election before coming to a realization that there’s one candidate out there they can’t stop… well, you can probably guess who.

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Campaign finance reports began coming in Wednesday in the presidential race. Here are some quick takeaways from the report for the Trusted Leadership PAC, the main super PAC supporting Cruz:

• The super PAC reported raising $4.5 million in March, spending $3.6 million and having $1.1 million cash on hand.
• The top contributors to the group were GOP megadonor Dick Uihlein, who gave $1 million, and Herzog Contracting Corp., which also donated $1 million. The construction company's chief executive is Stan Herzog.
• Trusted Leadership PAC was set up to consolidate other pro-Cruz fundraising efforts, and it appears that process is underway. It took in a total of $900,000 from two other pro-Cruz super PACs: Keep the Promise I ($800,000) and Stand for Truth ($100,000).

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File this under Texas leaders abroad… Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was one of seven lieutenant governors who traveled last week to Israel.

The economic development trip was organized by the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association and sponsored by the State Government Leadership Foundation.

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An RLGA press release quoted Patrick as saying, "Our trip gave me a great opportunity to find ways to increase business activity between Texas and Israel. Our already strong relationship will only expand as a result of my meetings with multiple companies and government officials during my visit."

In March, Patrick was named to the organization’s executive committee and will host the RLGA’s first meeting in Texas in June.

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Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego who is looking to win a rematch with U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, last week reported raising $312,354 in the first quarter of 2016 and having $619,713 cash on hand.

Gallego, who held the Congressional District 23 seat for one term, lost the seat to Hurd in the 2014 election. A statement from a spokesman said the Gallego campaign is “on track with where we want to be and momentum and enthusiasm just keeps growing.”

The CD-23 seat is widely seen as the only competitive congressional seat in Texas.

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Here’s a couple of items to mark on your calendar… Early voting ahead of the May 7 House District special elections in HD-120 (click here for a list of candidates) and HD-139 (click here for a list of candidates) starts Monday.

Monday is also the last day to register to vote in the May 24 party primary runoff elections. The Secretary of State reminds voters today that they do not have to be registered with a party to vote in the runoff elections. However, voters who voted in a party primary can only vote in that party’s runoff elections.

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