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James Dickey Reclaims Post of Travis County GOP Chairman

Also, a pair of non-major party presidential hopefuls — Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin — plan appearances around Austin this weekend.

Outgoing Chairman James Dickey speaks to the Travis County Republican Party on Tuesday Mar. 8, 2016, the first executive com…

James Dickey has reclaimed the chairmanship of the Travis County Republican Party after the brief, hectic reign of Robert Morrow.

Dickey easily won the post at an executive committee meeting Tuesday night, taking 62 votes to 26 for political consultant Brendan Steinhauser. Acting Chairman David Duncan had also been expected to run but apparently bowed out before the vote.

In a fluke election, Morrow unseated Dickey in the March primary, giving way to a months-long tenure that saw Morrow embarrass the party with his penchant for conspiracy theories and lewd denunciations. Party leaders found a way to oust Morrow last month, saying that when he applied to become a write-in presidential candidate, he ran afoul of a rule saying county chairs cannot vie for another office.

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Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is planning to hold his first rally in Texas. The former New Mexico governor will headline the event Saturday in Austin, according to his campaign. It is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Palm Door on Sixth St.

Johnson was already set to speak earlier Saturday in Austin at the Texas Tribune Festival.

And independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is also planning to hold his first event in Texas this weekend.

McMullin, a former CIA agent running as a conservative alternative to the two major-party nominees, will host a gathering for Texas supporters Saturday in Austin, according to his campaign. The event is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. at Max's Wine Dive in downtown Austin.

McMullin, who was recently certified as a write-in candidate for the November ballot in Texas, is also appearing in Austin on Sunday, when he is set to deliver the closing keynote at the Texas Tribune Festival.

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On Wednesday, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced a new $7.8 million pre-kindergarten planning and implementation grant, with a goal of providing school districts the capacity to expand pre-kindergarten programs.

The grant allows 4-star Texas Rising Star (TRS) child care providers to partner with their local school districts to provide more opportunities to Texas pre-kindergarten schoolchildren. The hope is that the partnership with private, high-performing kindergarten providers will lead to quality early childhood education.

This partnership with TEA reflects a strong commitment to increase the number of Texas children in high quality early learning environments,” TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said. “These public-private partnerships between ISD’s and 4-star Texas Rising Star providers will generate new school readiness and alignment opportunities for Texas early learners.”

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Less than half of county websites contain adequate election and voter ID information. That’s the verdict from a review conducted by the League of Women Voters.

They graded the county websites on six criteria: availability of a website, ease with which to find election information, adequacy of election information, adequacy of voter ID information, link to Secretary of State’s website, and availability of information in Spanish.

The LWV found 12 counties in Texas don’t have an official website, and that 105 out of the 242 remaining Texas counties (or 43 percent) provide adequate information taking into consideration all six criteria.

Click here to view the full report.

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