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The Brief: Texas Leaders Weigh in On Trump Video Controversy

While several state leaders are denouncing him, none have retracted their endorsements.

Supporters of Republican Presidential nominee  Donald Trump, hold up letters to spell his name during an August 23, 2016 ral…

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement released Oct. 10 by San Antonio developer Gene Powell.

The Big Conversation

After a 2005 clip surfaced showing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, several leading Texas Republicans are condemning their party’s nominee and withdrawing their financial support.

The video, which was obtained by the Washington Post, captures Trump bragging about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. Hours after the clip surfaced, Trump made a statement calling his comments “locker room banter.” However, U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and more have criticized Trump for his actions.

Trump’s problems, however, soon turned financial after state donors revealed plans to pull out of two scheduled fundraisers. As the Tribune’s Abby Livingston reports, Trump is scheduled to headline fundraisers in both Dallas and San Antonio this week. Bundler Gene Powell of San Antonio appeared to pull out of hosting the San Antonio fundraiser over the weekend, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the event. On Monday, Powell said in a statement that he was still planning to serve as one of the fundraiser's co-hosts but suggested he was doing so grudgingly.

Texas Democrats have also weighed in on the controversy, the Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reports. One of the first state Democrats to denounce Trump was former gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis, who said in a statement to the Tribune that "Donald Trump's exploitation of women knows no bounds. ... I wouldn't want Donald Trump in the same room with my daughters and granddaughter, much less be their President of the United States."

Trib Must Reads

Gang Wars, Poverty Driving Central Americans Over U.S. Border, by Jay Root — The challenge of securing the southern U.S. border is changing dramatically as fewer Mexicans cross illegally, but more Central Americans arrive seeking refuge from the terror and chaos of their home countries.

Analysis: Register to Vote and Give Yourself an Option for Election Day, by Ross Ramsey — Registering to vote doesn't mean you have to vote, but not registering means you can't. Tuesday is the deadline in Texas.

Man Arrested After Breaking into Texas Capitol, by Morgan Smith — A Fort Worth man was arrested early Sunday morning after allegedly breaking into the Texas Capitol building and defacing a portrait, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Texas Universities Want to Make it Easier to Transfer From Community Colleges, by Matthew Watkins — Financial, logistical and psychological barriers often get in the way of community college students transferring to four-year universities. Lately, universities are trying to change that.

Texas May Owe Abortion Providers' Lawyers $4.5 Million, by Alexa Ura —Following their win at the U.S. Supreme Court, the attorneys that brought a lawsuit against Texas' 2013 abortion restrictions are asking the state for more than $4.5 million in legal fees.

Inside The Last-Minute Scramble for Texas Campaign Money, by Abby Livingston — In the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, party big guns will storm Texas in search of campaign cash. 

Judge Dismisses SEC Case Against Ken Paxton, by Patrick Svitek — Attorney General Ken Paxton has won his biggest legal victory yet since securities fraud allegations surfaced more than a year ago. 

Texas Moves to End Legal Battle Over Syrian Refugees, by Alexa Ura — After withdrawing from the federal refugee resettlement program, Texas on Friday asked the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss its appeal of a federal judge’s June decision that threw out the state’s case.

Elsewhere

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

Cruz weighed dumping Trump, chose media attack instead, Politico

GOP looks to continue Texas Supreme Court win streak, Austin American-Statesman

Battle between Will Hurd and Pete Gallego a dead heat, San Antonio Express-News

Is it safe to vote in Texas?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Houston command center worked to stop BP oil spill, Houston Chronicle 

West Dallas tenants vent fears of eviction, The Dallas Morning News

Safety concerns arise as more Texas foster kids sleep in state offices, Austin American-Statesman

Border Patrol agent, cartel-linked brother facing drug trial, The Associated Press

Quote to Note

"I never endorsed Donald Trump, and I cannot in good conscience support or vote for a man who degrades women, insults minorities and has no clear path to keep our country safe. He should step aside for a true conservative to beat Hillary Clinton."

— U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican fighting for re-election against former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego. Hurd this weekend became the first member of Texas’s congressional delegation to ask Trump to drop out of the race.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   The Texas Response To Zika on Oct. 18 at BCBSTX Headquarters in Richardson

•   The Ticket: A Live Recording and Presidential Debate Watch Party on Oct. 19 at KLRU Studio 6A

•   A Conversation with U.S. Rep Michael McCaul on Oct. 25 at The Austin Club 

•   "Along Came Kinky" Screening and Conversation on Oct. 27 at the LBJ Library

•   A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke on Nov. 4 at The Austin Club 

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville

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