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The Brief: Attention Back on Cruz Amid Re-Election Buzz

With a news report spotlighting a "quiet Republican campaign" to find a challenger to Ted Cruz, the senator focuses on meeting with constituents.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz reflects on his presidential campaign push during a Texas Tribune interview in Dallas May 14, 2016.

The Big Conversation

Attention is back on Ted Cruz in light of a CNN report that some Republicans are urging U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin to challenge the junior senator for his seat in the 2018 primary.

As the Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reports, Cruz is swinging through Texas this week “at a time when Texas Republicans are buzzing more than ever about Cruz’s prospects for re-election in 2018, a discussion fueled by Cruz’s refusal to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the GOP national convention.”

“Cruz is appearing across the state in his official capacity, though political overtones are inevitable as Trump supporters continue working behind the scenes to derail his re-election,” Svitek writes.

While McCaul is reportedly not yet actively exploring a Senate run, Cruz advisers have said they expect a primary challenge. Jeff Roe, the senator’s 2016 presidential campaign manager, said last week that “moderate Republicans could take a look at him” and “Democrats would think that he, you know, ought to take a poke in the eye.”

The Houston Chronicle takes a look at Cruz’s efforts to prepare for 2018 — and, probably, 2020.

Trib Must Reads

Here's Why Texas Students Wait Weeks for Basic Mental Health Services, by Aneri Pattani — Students who need help dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues often must wait weeks to see a counselor at Texas' major public universities.

Tim Kaine No Stranger to Texas Democrats and Donors, by Patrick Svitek — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential running mate, is set to make a two-day fundraising swing in Texas beginning Tuesday.

Trump Calls NAFTA a "Disaster." Texas Republicans Beg to Differ, by Kirby Wilson — Donald Trump might want out of NAFTA. Texas congressional Republicans aren't going there.

Texas, UT Ask Judge to Throw Out Lawsuit Challenging Campus Carry, by Matthew Watkins — The Texas Attorney General's Office and University of Texas at Austin administrators on Monday asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit by three UT-Austin professors that seeks to block implementation of the state's new campus carry law.

News From Home

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(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Family of "Clock Boy" Ahmed Mohamed Files Lawsuit Against Former SchoolThe Washington Post

Hispanic voting bloc untapped: the Texas case, The Associated Press

Will family encouragement increase Latino turnout?, San Antonio Express-News

Texas businesses that ban guns should be liable if unarmed patrons are hurt, Dallas senator says, The Dallas Morning News

How 13 People (Yes, Total) Elected Houston's Next State Rep, Texas Observer

Is the Eagle Ford oil boom making people sick?, San Antonio Express-News

Judge helped put up fake ‘No Parking’ signs near TCU without city OK, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas GOP deletes tweet that appeared to praise Hillary Clinton, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

We really feel like their combination, and of course their opponent, could lead to some seismic changes in Texas. I think that also carries over to the fundraising. I think you see a lot of people who weren’t involved in the primary are starting to donate.” 

— Austin architect Elliot Johnson, on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   A Conversation with state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and state Reps. Terry Canales and Bobby Guerra on Aug. 26 at UT Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg

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

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Four Price and John Smithee on Oct. 4 at Amarillo College in Amarillo

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