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Hispanic Texas Republican Opts to Work With Libertarian

Also, San Antonio Congressman Will Hurd, who is the only incumbent running in a swing district, has dropped the first TV ad of his re-election campaign.

Hispanic Republicans of Texas (HRT). Left to right,  Juan Hernandez, Sonia Medina and Jacob Monte.

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has hired a veteran Republican operative from Texas to handle outreach to the Latino community.

Johnson's campaign last Friday named Juan Hernandez as an adviser and chairman of Hispanics for Johnson Weld. A co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas and longtime adviser to presidential contenders, Hernandez is among the most influential Latino Republicans in Texas.

"Having a leader of Juan's stature to join our campaign is a huge boost, and I am proud to have both his support and his assistance," Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, said in a statement. "The choices in this election for Hispanics could not be clearer, and as a former Governor of the nation's most Hispanic state, I understand both the tremendous benefits immigrant bring to America — and the challenges they face."

Hernandez previously supported former Republican candidate Jeb Bush in the presidential race. In past election cycles, he has advised GOP White House hopefuls including George W. Bush in 2000 and John McCain in 2008.

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Dallas billionaire Andy Beal is taking on a new role of economic adviser to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Beal, founder of Beal Bank, is already a prominent supporter of Trump's campaign in Texas. He endorsed Trump in February and has since been involved in fundraising for his presidential effort.

Beal was one of 13 people the Trump campaign announced Friday as part of an Economic Advisory Council. Trump is set to deliver a speech on the economy Monday in Detroit.

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In other Trump news, he has added Fort Worth to a late August fundraising swing through Texas. He, along with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, will host a high-dollar fundraising luncheon in Cowtown on Aug. 23.

Trump also tapped two Austin policy experts this week to serve as economic advisers to his campaign.

Brooke Rollins and Kathleen Hartnett White, both of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, were named Thursday to Trump's Economic Advisory Council. Rollins is the president and CEO of the conservative think tank, while White is a distinguished senior fellow and director of the foundation's Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment.

Rollins and White were among nine new economic advisers announced Thursday. Trump received some criticism for the initial 13 members he named to the council because none of them was a woman.

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U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, has released the first TV ad of his re-election campaign. Titled “Getting Started,” the 30-second spot shows Hurd traveling across Texas’ 23rd congressional district and meeting with constituents as he touts his work in Congress.

“Two years ago, I promised to roll up my sleeves and go to work for you,” Hurd says. “Since you’ve entrusted me with that honor, we’ve worked to get better care for our veterans, stop terrorists at the border and combat cyber attacks from abroad."

“I constantly visit all 29 counties to hear your concerns and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Hurd adds. “Now I promise you this: We’re just getting started.”

The commercial is part of a seven-figure ad buy through Election Day, according to Hurd’s campaign.

Hurd is in a rematch against the Democrat he unseated two years ago, Pete Gallego of Alpine. Gallego responded to the Hurd ad in a fundraising email Wednesday, telling supporters that despite his claims, Hurd “has broken his promise” to voters through his actions in Congress.

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A group of Texas Democrats has joined a congressional effort to pressure the Mexican government into addressing alleged human rights violations in that country.

U.S. Reps. Robert "Beto" O'Rourke, D-El Paso; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston; Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth; and Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, signed on to an Aug. 9 letter from California Democrat Alan Lowenthal urging Secretary of State John Kerry to make “strengthening the rule of law and defending human rights” in Mexico a priority during continued bilateral talks between the two governments.

“Given the significant U.S. support for Mexico’s security forces, we remained troubled by the 27,000 unresolved cases of people who have disappeared in Mexico since 2007, and the slow pace reform in the military, law enforcement, and justice sectors,” Lowenthal wrote.

The letter cites three controversies since 2014 which the group says highlights Mexico’s shortcomings in its criminal justice system: the disappearance of 43 student protesters in the state of Guerrero in 2014, the killings of 22 Mexican citizens at the hands of Mexican soldiers, and the 2016 deaths in Oaxaca of eight protesters at the hands of Mexican Federal Police.

“We encourage the government to foster a dialogue with the teachers and to fully investigate how the protesters were killed in the clashes,” the letter states.

The correspondence also highlights portions of an Amnesty International report that accuses Mexico’s security forces of using sexual violence against women as a form of torture.

Representatives from the offices of U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio; Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo; and Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, said they also support Lowenthal’s efforts.

Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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