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Mark Graham / Texas Tribune

The entire state will be watching Tuesday night as Republicans in Tarrant County decide which runoff candidate will continue and compete in the fall for Wendy Davis’ state senate seat.

The Senate District 10 runoff pits tea party candidate Konni Burton against former state representative Mark Shelton.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

The general election is still six months away, but the candidates for Texas governor are already tussling about debates. Republican Greg Abbott got it started Monday by saying he would accept two debates – one in McAllen and one in Dallas. On Tuesday, Democrat Wendy Davis, speaking in North Texas, said she wants six debates, including one in the Rio Grande Valley.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

On Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis continued her assault on Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s pre-kindergarten plan, this time in Dallas.

But as she spoke at the annual conference for the Texas Retired Teachers Association, a new national poll was released, showing the state senator from Fort Worth has made little headway in chiseling down Abbott’s lead.

Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, wants copies of any photos taken when his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, met Thursday with President Barack Obama. 

To get them, Abbott has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House.

Davis’ campaign says she had a private meeting with the president at the LBJ Library in Austin, where he helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Dallas and Fort Worth school districts are ramping up efforts to enroll more eligible children in pre-kindergarten.  The push comes as gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis spar over who has a better plan for early education. 

Inside the pre-kindergarten class at Dallas’ Good Street Learning Center, it might seem like the 4-year-olds keeping time with rhythm sticks are just playing a game.

Texas Tribune

Democrats in the Texas Senate are asking the lieutenant governor to investigate pay discrimination for women in state agencies, including the attorney general’s office.

It’s the latest salvo being fired by supporters of Democrat Wendy Davis, who has made equal pay a key issue in her race for governor against Republican Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Sen. Ted Cruz visited Fort Worth Wednesday night to bestow his endorsement and star power on the Republican runoff campaign of Konni Burton, a tea party candidate who wants to fill the state senate seat Wendy Davis is giving up.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign says he would not sign the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act, a measure that would give women more time to successfully make pay discrimination claims in state court.

Democratic opponent Wendy Davis introduced that measure in the Texas Senate last session.  The legislature passed it, but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.

Davis has hammered Abbott on the issue for two weeks claiming he doesn’t have women’s best interests at heart.

RedState Women

A new conservative Texas political action committee launched online this week. Named "RedState Women," the group wants to counter efforts by Wendy Davis to attract female voters. 

Cari Christman is chief of staff for a Texas senator and executive director for the PAC. She said Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis doesn’t speak for all Texas women.

Democrat Wendy Davis again accused her Republican opponent for governor of "dodging" when asked if he would have signed state legislation that guaranteed equal pay for women and all Texans. When asked about the Texas version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter law, Abbott told the television interviewer adequate protection already existed. Davis says that's not true in Texas's state courts, where Abbott as attorney general successfully defended the state against a wage discrimination claim made by a female Indian professor at Prairie View A&M University. Here's more on the story:

The process of electing a new governor in Texas begins in earnest Tuesday, when Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis are expected to easily dispatch their primary opponents and move on to the Nov. 4 battle.

As if they hadn't already.

Both Abbott, 56, the state's attorney general and a former state Supreme Court judge, and Davis, 50, a state senator and former Fort Worth City Council member, have been amassing money and press since at least last fall.

Shutterstock

The most strategically important legislative race this year may be in Tarrant County. It’s for the Texas Senate seat that Wendy Davis is giving up and there’s a lot at stake for both major political parties.

George W. Bush Library

Five stories that have North Texas talking: President Bush to unveil more of his art; the head of ExxonMobil joins a lawsuit against fracking; public art at your bus station; and more.

Bob Daemmrich / flickr.com/thetexastribune

After what are shaping up to be easy primary wins in March for the leading gubernatorial candidates, Republican Greg Abbott starts the general election race for governor with an 11-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Meanwhile, several statewide races on the Republican primary ballot — for lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller — appear headed for May runoffs. None of the leaders in those races looks close to the 50 percent support they would need to win next month's primary outright.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Update: Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, responded to Ted Nugent's apology with the following statement:

"I believe Ted Nugent recognized his language was wrong and he rightly apologized. This is not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way. It's time to move beyond this, and I will continue to focus on the issues that matter to Texans."

Original story: Ted Nugent has apologized for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel," but a spokesman for the Wendy Davis campaign says that isn’t good enough.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Rock musician Ted Nugent became the latest flashpoint in the governor’s race as early voting got underway Tuesday.

Alana Rocha (@viaAlana) / Texas Tribune

Rock musician Ted Nugent appeared with Republican governor hopeful Greg Abbott in North Texas this morning – and that’s attracting criticism from Wendy Davis, Abbott’s Democratic rival.

Davis, in Fort Worth this morning, said she thought that Abbott appearing with Nugent on the first day of early voting spoke volumes about the Republican candidate, saying it was “an insult to every woman.” Davis said that’s because Nugent has demeaned women verbally and otherwise.

Laura Buckman / The Texas Tribune

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis says she supports gay marriage. She also called on her opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop defending the definition of marriage in the Texas constitution as only between one man and one woman. 

The Texas Tribune

She’s the likely Democratic nominee for Texas governor, but inquiring minds are asking: Where does Wendy Davis stand on medical marijuana? Abortion? And did she really fudge the details of her life story? She’s been making the rounds to clear all that up, including a profile that runs in The New York Times this weekend.

Shutterstock

Five stories that have North Texas talking: hearings begin on a challenge against Texas’ gay marriage ban, a Fort Worth councilman goes to the Ivy Leagues, and more.

The battle over the border is escalating between Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Abbott and the likely Democratic nominee Wendy Davis. It began last week when Abbott likened public corruption in South Texas to “third-world country practices” while unveiling his border security plan while in Dallas. Davis calls Abbott's comment "divisive" and says it's harmful to economic development along the border. Abbott may say more on the subject when he makes a campaign appearance in El Paso today.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Greg Abbott, the Republican attorney general and candidate for governor, stopped in Dallas Tuesday to unveil a $300 million border security plan that would also target domestic violence and sex crimes.

Speaking to a Dallas nonprofit that helps victims of child sex trafficking, Abbott argued that the federal government has failed to secure the Texas border.

“Powerful and ruthless international cartels and violent transnational gangs are operating within our state,” Abbott said. “Even within our prison system. And narco-related cross-border crime is on the rise.” 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has been in the spotlight recently regarding her life story. News reports have suggested that Davis embellished her personal story of being a single, teen mother who escaped poverty by working hard and eventually getting a law degree. 

In addition, while she earned a degree from Harvard Law School, her two daughters mostly lived in Texas with her husband. The Dallas Morning News reported: "When Davis and her husband divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support."

In a Tuesday speech, Davis said she never gave up custody of her children.

Is Davis telling the truth? PolitiFact Texas says it's "mostly true."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has released letters from her two adult daughters who say they want to correct “untrue things” and “ludicrous comments” about their mother.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

James O’Keefe is at it again. The controversial conservative activist has focused his hidden camera on Battleground Texas – the Democratic operation trying to turn Texas blue.

His Project Veritas operation released a video this week showing a Battleground Texas worker laughing and talking about Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, being in a wheelchair.

Wendy Davis' meteoric rise, from Texas state senator who barely won re-election to Democratic candidate for governor and darling of the national party, has hinged on her powerful personal story and a famous filibuster.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, has issued a statement responding to an article released over the weekend that points to inconsistencies in her accounting of her life story.

The article, written by Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News, pointed to a couple of details from the story Davis has used during her campaign for Governor: specifically, that Davis was not a divorced mother at 19, but instead 21. Slater also highlights that while Davis initially paid her way through college, her second husband helped pay for her final years at Texas Christian University and Harvard Law School.

Conservatives have jumped on the story, calling Davis a liar. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh called her a "genuine head case" on his program today, saying she had "made stuff up" and would have been "really poor and destitute were it not for a man" – a reference to her second husband, lawyer Jeff Davis.

Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis announced Tuesday she raised $12.2 million in the last half of 2013 for her governor's campaign. Republican Greg Abbott reported raising $11.5 million in the same time period but says he has a total of $27 million on hand to wage his campaign. Political analysts say each candidate will need close to $40 million to be competitive if they become their parties' nominees as expected. Davis, who entered the race in October, currently has about half as much money her her campaign account as Abbott. But she's demonstrated an ability to keep pace with his fundraising in the past six months.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis outlined a plan Thursday for attracting more top students to teaching and for improving the pay of those already in the classroom.

Tea party activists have been gunning for Sen. John Cornyn. But even they were surprised when Steve Stockman, a Republican Congressman from the Houston suburb of Friendswood, filed on the last possible day to run against Cornyn in the March Republican primary. 

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