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The Brief: Trump looms in heated debate between Hurd and Gallego

Democratic challenger Pete Gallego accused U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of not doing another to distance himself from Donald Trump, while Hurd cited his rival's lack of legislative accomplishments during his own time in Congress.

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (left) was ousted by Republican Will Hurd, right, in the 2014 CD-23 contest.

The Big Story

In likely the only debate for the only competitive congressional race in Texas, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd and Democratic challenger Pete Gallego, the two men vying for the Congressional District 23 seat, clashed over Donald Trump and their respective legislative accomplishments. Here's what went down Thursday:

•    Gallego accused his Republican rival of not doing enough to distance himself from Trump, claiming that Hurd only disavowed the GOP nominee after the surfacing of a 2005 tape where Trump is heard making lewd comments about women. Hurd, however, maintained that he has spoken out against Trump "from day one.” The two also sparred over Trump's border wall proposal, with Gallego pouncing on Hurd's refusal to explicitly come out against the idea.

•   They also debated over who had gotten more done in Congress. Hurd claimed that Gallego was making a big deal of his affiliation with Trump because Gallego wanted to distract from the fact that he got “absolutely nothing accomplished” in Congress. Gallego responded by accusing Hurd of taking credit for the progress that Gallego himself made when he held the seat from 2012-2014.

•    The Hurd-Gallego race is a rematch of a close 2014 contest. In order to maintain their majority in the House, many top Republicans — including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan — have prioritized Hurd’s re-election. Others who have campaigned for Hurd in CD-23 include Gov. Greg Abbott and former presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Tribune Today

UT/TT Poll: Texas voters feeling high anxiety over election security
Texas voters are very, very wary of election fraud and other hijinks. And the voters whose candidates been winning for more than two decades are the most worried of all.

UT/TT Poll: Texas voters grade top officials and institutions
Texas voters give tough grades to federal officials and better grades to state officials.

Texas continues to struggle with large number of uninsured children
A new study finds that the rate of children in Texas without health insurance continues to fall, but the state still leads only Alaska in getting children covered.

Foster care chief ups request for caseworker pay hikes
One day after lawmakers challenged his plans for retaining caseworkers, DFPS chief Hank Whitman asks for even more money to raise salaries.

Texas students boost scores on national science test
Results released Thursday from a national science test show Texas students scoring higher than they have in past years, and higher than the national average.

Trump says he's getting calls about "vote flipping" at the polls in Texas
Reports of machines changing Trump votes to Clinton have largely been debunked. 

What We're Reading

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

Justice Department will watch 75 Harris County polls on Election Day for ADA violations, Houston Chronicle 

Texas voter ID ad dollars do not go far, San Antonio Express-News

These angry Texans planned protest votes against Clinton, Trump, but close polls have changed some minds, The Dallas Morning News 

Obama cuts 98 more sentences, including 2 from Austin, Austin American-Statesman

White House pans Cruz pitch for smaller Supreme Court, Houston Chronicle 

Today in TribTalk

"Since time immemorial, new cars in the United States have been sold via franchised dealerships. Dealerships are supposed to provide knowledgeable salespeople and reliable vehicle service. At the same time, the buying process can be a complicated and stressful ordeal; many people end up feeling like they've been overcharged."

Josiah Neeley, R Street Institute 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   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 

•   Live Post-Election TribCast on Nov. 9 at The Austin Club 

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

•   A Conversation with Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University on Dec. 1 at The Austin Club

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

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