State government

Primary Color: SBOE District 5

Forget about Don McLeroy vs. Thomas Ratliff. The most interesting fight for a State Board of Education seat may be in San Antonio, where well-funded lawyer-lobbyist Tim Tuggey is challenging incumbent Ken Mercer — and the big question being asked is, 'How conservative is conservative enough?'

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Primary Color: Five to Watch

In honor of today's kickoff of early voting — a two-week period in which political junkies, committed activists and other go-to-the-head-of-the-class types will line up to cast ballots for their favorite candidates, unable to contain their enthusiasm or anger until March 2 — we present five different installments in our Primary Color series. Brandi Grissom reports on the GOP face-off to take on state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, in House District 78. Elise Hu tackles the four-way scrum between Republicans in HD-20 hoping to succeed retiring state Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown. Ross Ramsey asks why a perenially safe incumbent, state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, has a fight on her hands this year in HD-98. Abby Rapoport looks at the battle for conservative cred in the race for the District 5 seat on the State Board of Education. And Morgan Smith picks apart the five-way race for the GOP nomination in Congressional District 23 — and the chance to topple U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.

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Ross Ramsey

Primary Color: HD-98

State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, has won and won easily since wresting the district from a GOP incumbent in a 1998 runoff. But this year is different. She'll face three opponents and voters who might be in an anti-incumbent mood.

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Jacob Villanueva

Survey Says...

Texans are more worried about the economy and the direction of the country than anything else, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Other notable findings: Nearly two-thirds support either gay marriage or civil unions, nearly half prefer private health insurance to a government-run plan, and more than a third think the Legislature meets every year.

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Bob Daemmerich

TribBlog: NYT Mag on SBOE's "Christian Nation"

It seems the social conservatives on the State Board of Education may be on their way to getting more ink than any other politicians in modern Texas history, a cause that will be helped in this Sunday's printing of The New York Times Magazine.

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Justin Dehn

2010: Borris Miles Keeps it Flowing

The primary matchup between perennial opponents state Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston, and former state Rep. Borris Miles is going where most haven't publicly gone before: the urinal.

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Tom Leppert: The TT Interview

The Dallas mayor left a hugely successful private sector career to lead the country’s ninth-largest city through an economic meltdown and the aftermath of a City Hall corruption scandal. And he doesn’t regret a minute of it. Here, he talks about fighting a sky-high crime rate, how he keeps party politics from his office, and every urban area's Achilles' heel: education.

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This Might Hurt: A Dose of Politics

Immunization advocates want to expand our vaccination database, but the well-educated, middle-class parents who oppose them are organized and driven — and could force lawmakers to take sides in the tussle between personal freedom and public health.

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The Last Time Around

How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.

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TribBlog: Terri Hodge's Farewell Letter

On the same day she publicly announced that she would drop her reelection bid and plead guilty in federal court to making false statements on an income tax return, State Rep. Terri Hodge, D-Dallas, wrote a letter to her House colleagues to say good-bye and apologize.

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