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Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is making his first public statement after being fired by President Donald Trump this morning over Twitter. Tillerson will be succeeded by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, pending a Senate confirmation. Pompeo will be replaced by Gina Hapsel who, as NPR notes, may have a tough road to her Senate confirmation.

Watch a livestream of the briefing below courtesy of PBS Newshour.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

During early voting in the primaries, a theme developed around what was happening in Texas. The narrative became that Democrats ­– perhaps improbably – were outpacing Republicans at the polls. Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz sounded the alarm to Republicans.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Four candidates emerged Tuesday from a field of 22 to face off in runoff elections to replace U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith in Congress.

Joseph Kopser and Mary Wilson will compete in the Democratic runoff, while Chip Roy and Matt McCall will vie for the Republican nomination. The runoff elections are scheduled for May 22.

Gabriel C. Pérez

We’re a little bit closer to knowing who will be on the ballot in November. Republicans and Democrats selected most of their nominees for the general election this fall, but statewide, the races didn't quite live up to the hype. Of the highest offices on Texas ballots, only one went to a runoff. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Democrats Sheryl Cole and Jose “Chito” Vela will move on to a runoff election for Texas House District 46 after pushing out embattled incumbent Dawnna Dukes in the primary on Tuesday.

The district includes parts of East Austin, Manor and Pflugerville.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Five Democrats and one Republican are vying to replace incumbent state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, in House District 46, which includes parts of Austin, Pflugerville and Manor.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas has been a one-party state for a long time.

The state was ruled by Democrats for decades after Reconstruction, with only a brief moment of purpleness in the late ’80s-early ’90s before Republicans took over. But, of course, one-party rule is never as simple as just one party in charge of everything. That one party always splinters.

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President Donald Trump will address the Conservative Political Action Conference this morning. Trump is expected to double-down on his call to provide concealed firearms for up to a fifth of teachers in schools and personnel  –a response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla. that killed 17 people.

Watch a livestream below courtesy of NPR.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Early voting for the March 6 primaries in Texas started this week. But, if you plan on voting on Election Day, it’s possible you might run into someone at your polling location with the title of “election judge.”

As part of our Texas Decides project, a listener wanted to know what they do and how they got that job.

Texas Republican voter opinion turned against the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller even before last week’s mass shooting in a Florida high school and indictments of Russian propagandists who tried to influence American elections, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s go time!

Early voting in the Democratic and Republican primaries begins today and runs through March 2. KUT has spent the last month trying to provide all the information you’ll need to vote. We’ve got information on who’s running in local congressional races, state House, state Senate and the statewide races like governor.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you want to help pick Democratic and Republican candidates for the November elections, it's time to head to the polls.

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump told U.S. Sen. John Cornyn on Friday that he backs efforts by Texas' senior senator to revamp the nation's background check system for purchasing firearms, the White House confirmed Monday.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida, and the White House is not ignoring them. The president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, and on Monday morning the White House said he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, something Congress has expressed broad support for without acting on after past shootings.

Anthony Truong-Nguyen / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are far ahead of their Republican primary opponents in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but the Democrats running for those two high offices face more difficult paths to their party’s nomination.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Twenty-two primary candidates are vying for Texas' 21st Congressional District seat this year, 18 Republicans and four Democrats.

The congressional district covers parts of Austin, the Hill Country and northern Bexar County. The primary elections are March 6; early voting starts Tuesday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new study of civic activity in Texas finds some of the reasons behind the state's notoriously low voter-turnout rate, but shows glimmers of hope for more political participation.

All Things Considered host Nathan Bernier spoke to Susan Nold, director of The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas, which conducted the study.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Senate failed to pass any immigration legislation before a self-imposed Friday deadline, leaving lawmakers with no plan to address the roughly 700,000 immigrants who stand to lose legal protections as early as March 5.

The defeat follows a rocky 24 hours of negotiations on a bipartisan bill that failed following a veto threat from President Trump. By a 39-60 vote, senators rejected a White House-backed plan that became a partisan lightning rod after Trump insisted his plan was the only one he would sign.

Screenshot via NPR

Top intelligence officials are testifying before U.S. Senators this morning on Capitol Hill. Heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency will brief the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on “worldwide threats,” including the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and North Korea’s nuclear program.

Watch a livestream of the hearing below, courtesy of NPR.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Is Texas turning blue? That's the question, dream and lie (depending on your point of view) being discussed across the state.

It's the dream of Democrats, who haven't won a statewide office in Texas since the early '90s. It's a big lie, say Republicans, who argue support for President Trump has been more positive in Texas than in most of the country.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal court is hearing a case today that challenges the way Texas elects judges for its high courts. The lawsuit argues at-large partisan elections make it difficult for Latinos to get elected.

KUT's Ashley Lopez talks about the case with Morning Edition host Nadia Hamdan. Listen to their conversation below.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt will deliver the annual State of the County address tonight. The speech is expected to touch on several topics, including infrastructure and criminal justice.

Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton spoke with Eckhardt about the address. She began the interview by asking a more basic question: What’s the job description for a county judge?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texans have the privilege of being able to vote for dozens and dozens of offices throughout state and local government. The whole country gets to elect a governor, but a justice of the peace? Not everyone has that honor.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It happens. You get busy. You forget things. You’re trying to have it all. You’re also not registered to vote. Not yet, that is.

Today is the last day to register to vote in the March primaries in Texas. Here’s everything you need to know to avoid a dereliction of your civic duty.

VoteTexas.gov has a quick registration check. Just provide any of the following, and it’ll tell you if you’re registered:

Bob Daemmrich

The government’s seemingly sluggish response to Hurricane Harvey has been a headache for Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office plays a major role in getting Texans back into damaged homes. 

One company that is trying to help him out — in more ways than one — is Horne LLP, a big accounting firm that provides disaster recovery services to governments. On Oct. 30, 2017, the company signed a $13.47 million contract with the agency Bush oversees, the Texas General Land Office, to help with Harvey recovery efforts. 

Three days later, more than two dozen Horne LLP executives helped out Bush with his re-election campaign, sending him $27,500 in political cash — including $1,000 from the Horne partner who signed the contract.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

KUT has been reminding Austinites about Monday’s primary election voter registration deadline for a few weeks. (One more time: IT’S MONDAY, FEB. 5.) If you’ve registered in the past and haven’t moved since then, you’re cool; no re-registration needed.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke at his alma mater, UT-Austin, on Thursday during a symposium on U.S. involvement and engagement in Western affairs. The event was hosted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the LBJ Presidential Library.

Among other things, Tillerson talked about issues facing the Americas – particularly corruption.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress last night.

The theme of the speech was "building a safe, strong and proud America." The president pitched a plan to invest heavily in the nation's infrastructure and touted U.S. economic gains during his first year in the White House.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Quick quiz: How many state district judges are in Travis County? The answer is right on the tip of your tongue, right?

No, of course it isn’t. It’s a question that almost nobody knows the answer to. If you do, you’re probably either one of those judges or you work in a judge’s office.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The State Republican Executive Committee voted to censure Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, on Saturday, dinging the outgoing state leader for standing in the way of the party leadership group's priorities.

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