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The Brief: Rick Perry Becomes Latest To Endorse Trump

From "a cancer on conservatism" to "one of the most talented people who has ever run for the president," Rick Perry changes his tune on Donald Trump.

Former West Des Moines, Iowa USA Jan. 27, 2016: Texas Governor Rick Perry fires up the crowd before West Des Moines, Iowa US…

The Big Conversation

Former Gov. Rick Perry dedicated a significant amount of time during his short-lived run for the White House raising pointed criticism of Donald Trump. In a television interview on Thursday, Perry endorsed Trump for president.

"He is not a perfect man," Perry told CNN, as reported by the Tribune's Patrick Svitek. "But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them."

Perry also said he would consider serving as Trump's running mate, Svitek wrote. "I am not going to say no," he told CNN.

"Endorsing Trump is a remarkable turnaround for Perry," Svitek added. "The former governor was the first member of the GOP field to attack Trump, delivering a speech in July that labeled Trump anathema to the GOP." Perry memorably called Trump a "cancer on conservatism" and had more recently been a backer of Ted Cruz for president.

Svitek also reported on Thursday that Dave Carney, Perry's former longtime adviser who also helped David Dewhurst against Cruz in the 2012 U.S. Senate contest, was brought on board to help a pro-Cruz super PAC.

Carney, Svitek wrote, "last month joined Trusted Leadership PAC, the top super PAC supporting Cruz. Carney signed on as Cruz was coming off a breakthrough victory in Wisconsin — and navigating much less friendly territory in the northeast."

Trib Must Reads

Nifty or Shifty: A Campaign Finance Quiz, by Lauren Flannery — Politicians like to think of the money in their campaign accounts as their own. It's not, but sometimes, it seems that way. Below are five actual cases where the Texas Ethics Commission has rendered its official position. Take the test: Given these situations, what do you think they can get away with?

Uber Battle in Austin Extends Beyond City Limits, by Madlin Mekelburg — A hard-fought Austin special election over regulations for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft might signal the new normal as the companies aggressively battle to dominate the emerging industry on their own terms.

Analysis: Adjusting to Trump, One Republican at a Time, by Ross Ramsey — The developments of this one week have changed the essential description that distinguishes one Republican from another. In Donald Trump’s wake, the central question for officeholders, candidates and voters alike is whether they are going to support their apparent nominee. Their answers are mixed.

Audit: DPS Overpaid Vendor, Needs to Work on Security, by Johnathan Silver — The Texas Department of Public Safety improperly monitored how its employees use gas payment cards and should better ensure personal information from background checks is secure, state auditors said in a report released Thursday.

Webb County Sees Rare Death Sentence, by Jolie McCullough — A Webb County jury Thursday gave Demond Bluntson a death sentence for the 2012 shooting death of his 21-month-old son and his girlfriend's six-year-old boy. It was the county's first death sentence in almost 25 years.

Will Texas Donors Buy Into the Trump Campaign?, by Abby Livingston — Texas was second only to California in fueling Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign super PAC. But Trump’s record of comments mocking minorities, women and people with disabilities — not to mention his stances on some hot-button issues including abortion — present a moral dilemma to many in the GOP, including donors.

Elsewhere

Paxton Q&A: No plan to target other companies over bathroom policies, Houston Chronicle

State official reinstated from paid leave after 15 months, $150,000, Houston Chronicle

Baylor President Ken Starr focused on football, fumbled on sex assault cases, The Dallas Morning News

Fort Worth poised to let Uber, Lyft remain unregulated, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Police revise drunken driving crash stats key to Prop 1 campaign, Austin American-Statesman

Jury convicts Ron Paul aides of campaign finance violations, The Associated Press

Thornberry evades endorsement, but urges voters to watch, Amarillo Globe-News

Herman: A towering life worth celebrating, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

"You had Donald Trump lie repeatedly and — heavens to Betsy — accusing the most honorable guy in the race of all kinds of dishonesty. As a Christian, Stuart, if he apologizes, then yes, I will forgive him and come on board."

— U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, setting a condition for switching his allegiance from Ted Cruz to Donald Trump in an interview on Wednesday with Fox News' Stuart Varney

Today in TribTalk

We must hold people accountable for their bigotry, by Simran Jeet Singh — When brown-skinned men are being kicked off flights for speaking Arabic or women wearing hijabs are refused service for being Muslim — or when a Sikh man like Daljeet Singh is detained and arrested for speaking Punjabi — our country is sending the message that it is okay to profile and discriminate against entire communities. This is not the American way. And it does not make us safer.

Lower college tuition starts with the Texas Legislature, by José Rodríguez — If lawmakers want to reduce college tuition costs, we must first look to ourselves.

News From Home

•    Tune in for the latest episode of The Ticket, a co-production of the Tribune and KUT. KUT’s Ben Philpott talks with ABC News chief political analyst Matthew Dowd on what's next for the GOP, and he takes a peek at the upcoming Texas Republican convention.

•    On this week's TribCast — recorded live from our spring member drive happy hour — Emily talks to Evan, Ross, Patrick and a fleet of special guests on Ted Cruz's departure from the presidential race and the likelihood that the Legislature will take up a "bathroom bill" in 2017.

Trib Events for the Calendar

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

•    A Conversation with Mike Morath, Texas Education Commissioner, on May 17 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation Series on the Direction of Health Care: Do We Have Enough Doctors?, on May 19 at the Medical World Americas Conference in Houston

•    A Conversation with Ryan Sitton, Texas Railroad Commissioner, on June 3 at The Austin Club

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

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