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The Brief: Cruz, Kasich Move to Stop Trump in Three States

In a big development in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich announced that they were coordinating approaches in three upcoming states.

U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Ted Cruz talks to a crowd in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 21, 2016.

The Big Conversation

In a big development in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich announced that they were coordinating approaches in three upcoming states in a bid to deny Donald Trump the delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot.

The Tribune's Patrick Svitek has the rundown:

On Sunday night, the two campaigns agreed to a game plan that they hope will deny Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination before Cleveland: Cruz will focus on Indiana, while Kasich, the Ohio governor, will zero in on Oregon and New Mexico.

The development is a major shift in strategy for Cruz, who until now had resisted any coordination with Kasich. The deal comes two days before Trump is poised to sweep five northeastern primaries.

The Washington Post's Sean Sullivan and David Weigel reported that Cruz and Kasich were already effectively putting this strategy into play this week, noting that Cruz has pretty much written off three states that vote on Tuesday — Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware — while Kasich campaigned in the first two states.

The Post's Sullivan and Weigel also wrote, "The deal was discussed in a private meeting last week between Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe and Kasich chief strategist John Weaver in Hollywood, Fla., at the sidelines of the Republican National Committee meeting, said a source with knowledge of the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The deal was finalized Sunday in phone calls between the two advisers."

In response, Trump issued a long statement late Sunday night.

"Collusion is often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive," Trump said at one point. "They are mathematically dead and this act only shows, as puppets of donors and special interests, how truly weak they and their campaigns are."

Trib Must Reads

Analysis: Texas Legislative Review Process Needs a Review, by Ross Ramsey — House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is trying to rescue legislative reviews of state agencies from poachers in the lobby and in the Legislature itself. He says they've "made a mockery" of the process.

On Way Out of Office, Some Lawmakers Keep Spending, by Jim Malewitz — If Texas Sen. Troy Fraser is looking for a country music song to describe his recent months in office, “I’ve Been Everywhere” might do the trick.

Valley Residents Have Been Eating Toxic Fish for Decades, by Alexa Ura — For more than two decades, federal and state health officials have known that residents of a poor community in the Rio Grande Valley are eating fish laced with unsafe levels of toxic chemicals, but they haven't found a way to stop it.

Jury Sentences Bernie Tiede to 99 Years or Life in Prison, by Jonathan Silver — An East Texas jury on Friday night sentenced convicted murderer Bernie Tiede to 99 years or life in prison for the 1996 killing of Carthage woman Marjorie Nugent.

Chris Traylor Bids Farewell to Health Commission, by Edgar Walters — Chris Traylor, the head of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, has confirmed he will retire from the agency at the end of next month, ending a 26-year career in public service.

The Day Ahead

•    Today is the last day to register to vote in the May 24 party primary runoff elections. It is also the first day of early voting in a pair of House District special elections in San Antonio and Houston.

•    The House Business and Industry Committee holds an interim legislative hearing at the South Padre Island City Council to take invited testimony on Texas business' use of various tax refunds and credits.

Elsewhere

Vietnam War Summit at LBJ Library examines complex, tragic legacy, Austin American-Statesman

Apprehension of immigrant families crossing Southwest illegally border surges, San Antonio Express-News

Grand jury indicts Manziel in family violence case, WFAA-TV

Ted Cruz Shifts Policy Stances to Suit Fractured GOP, The Washington Post

Fed-up GOP mega-donors sitting on their checkbooks, The Hill

State Rep. Miles did not disclose business ownerships, Houston Chronicle

Misfire: How confusion, legal tweaks led Texas to allow guns in state mental hospitals, The Dallas Morning News

Some Austin doctors question med school changes, payment cuts, Austin American-Statesman

Repaying loan may affect SAWS’ pipeline deal, San Antonio Express-News

Oil sector shows signs of life after a few more painful months, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

“We used to just show up at his house. Now we have to go through a metal detector.”

James Risinger, a high school classmate of Gov. Greg Abbott, who hosted the Duncanville High School class of '76 reunion on Saturday at the Governor's Mansion

Today in TribTalk

New budget process means unprecedented power for governor, by Lawrence Collins — The heady days of the Texas Legislature's superiority in state budget writing seem to have come to a close in favor of giving the governor an unprecedented amount of power over how the state spends its money.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    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

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

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