* Correction appended

The Big Conversation

Some Texas GOP officials are sympathizing with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that the November election may be “rigged” against him.

Trump’s assertion that there’s some sort of conspiracy against his candidacy — which includes “large-scale” voter fraud — comes after his campaign and polling numbers have faltered. And while Alicia Pierce, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, said in a statement to the Tribune that voter fraud in Texas would be “essentially impossible,” Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler said he agrees with Trump’s concerns. 

"We do share a concern" with Trump, Mechler said Tuesday. "We know it's out there, and we know it's massive. We're doing everything we can to identify and to prepare for it."

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As the Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reports, not everyone agrees with the billionaire business mogul. On Tuesday, Manny Garcia, the deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said Trump’s concerns are insincere and that Trump "knows his campaign is in a tailspin — and as a result, he’s weaving a web of excuses with dangerous charges that strike at the core of our country’s democracy."

Trib Must Reads

Central American gang's tentacles reach deep into Texas, by Julián Aguilar — Only about 800 of the estimated 20,000 gang members in the Houston area belong to the MS-13, but police consider them a top-level threat to public safety in Texas.

Analysis: Clinton ads won’t turn Texas, but could turn heads, by Ross Ramsey — The Clinton campaign is buying television ads in Texas, but not enough of them to capture the attention of most TV viewers — or most voters. So what's the deal?

Lawmakers could face tough decision on border security funding, by Julián Aguilar — The author of the state's omnibus border security bill raised doubts Tuesday whether lawmakers will want to provide hundreds of millions in additional money to continue operations. 

A&M System regents name new presidents for three campuses, by Matthew Watkins — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents looked internally on Tuesday when naming new presidents of A&M-Commerce, A&M-International and A&M-Corpus Christi. 

Dallas mayor wants holistic analysis of riverside toll road, by Brandon Formby — Mayor Mike Rawlings wants the divisive Trinity Parkway to be included in TxDOT's CityMAP study of downtown Dallas highways.

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Paxton intervenes in Austin labor agreement with firefighters, by Nicole Cobler — Paxton weighed in Tuesday on a lawsuit against the city of Austin’s labor agreement with the Austin Firefighters Association.  

How big is Hillary Clinton's historic ad buy in Texas?, by Abby Livingston — By mid-day Tuesday, Clinton's campaign had booked ads in Texas worth at most $100,000, according to a GOP source briefed on local television sales.

The Day Ahead

•    KLRU studios will host the Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott for a live recording of their weekly podcast, The Ticket 2016. Root and Philpott will kick off the evening with a review of the latest news from the campaign trail before airing the presidential debate. The event takes place in KLRU's Studio 6A on the UT-Austin campus, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but entry will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will be live streamed for those who can't attend in person. Click here for more information.

•    The final presidential debate will take place between major-party nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas at 8 p.m. CDT. It will be televised on all major networks and C-SPAN. The Texas Tribune also invites you to watch the debate with us. Tell us what you think using the hashtag #TXWatching2016.

Elsewhere

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

To curb unintended pregnancy, Texas turns to IUDs in the delivery room, Kaiser Health News

Worries of 'rigged election' shouldn't change voting security in Texas polling places, officials say, The Dallas Morning News

Clinton holds clear advantage in new battleground polls, The Washington Post

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As earnings season begins, is worst of oil bust over?, Houston Chronicle 

Hensarling denies blocking bill to honor World War II heroes, The Dallas Morning News

Texas elections officials seek to reassure voters, Austin American-Statesman

Trump bashes S.A. mayor over hat reprimands, San Antonio Express-News

Local undecided voters may stay home, Houston Chronicle 

Trump tormentor Mark Cuban says he'll be Clinton's guest at third debate, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

"I'm voting for Donald Trump."

— Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush at a GOTV event in Hondo on Tuesday

Today in TribTalk

Why can't Texans vote for "none of the above"?, by David Simpson — We must make sure our elections promote accountable government and allow voters to actively participate — whether they agree with the candidates on the ballot or not.

Zika: How big is the threat in Texas?, by Dr. Binh-Minh "Jade" Le  Texans must remain vigilant to keep the virus at bay.

News From Home

•    The generous support of our members gives our nonprofit newsroom the flexibility to chase the issues that matter most to everyday Texans, not pageviews and clicks. Donate to the Tribune during its Fall Member Drive by clicking here.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   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 Symposium on Transportation on Nov. 3 at Texas A&M University - Rudder Tower 

•   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

•   San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

Correction: Manny Garcia is the deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. An earlier version gave him the wrong title.

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