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Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

SAN ANTONIO — Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey has won re-election, beating back a challenge from longtime activist Cindy Asche after a long and bitter fight on the convention floor Friday.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Political party conventions are always about the future – the next election, to be specific, but also the five- and 10-year plan for growth.

The last couple of decades for Texas Republicans have been pretty rock solid. In 2014, Gov. Greg Abbott won the election by 20 points. And in the 2018 primaries, Republicans set records for voter turnout in an off-year election.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas' top Republican lawmakers spent the morning Friday revving up the crowd at their convention in San Antonio. Now the heavy lifting of this biennial event begins.

The delegates vote on a party chairman and then begin debate on the state party platform. The (currently) 38-page document lists the party's priorities, plans and ideals.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Thousands of Republicans are in San Antonio this week for the state convention. They'll bring plenty of red, white and blue clothing – along with elephant hats. But in the midst of the spectacle, there's work getting done by party officials and delegates. Here's a little checklist of what to watch for over the next three days.

Updated at 12:56 p.m. ET

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a new hearing at which she is expected to consider accusations by prosecutors that former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort tampered with witnesses in his case.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Manafort, prosecutors, witnesses and others to be prepared to appear and to testify on June 15, according to the new order.

Prosecutors have asked Berman Jackson to rescind Manafort's bail and order him to jail ahead of his trial, which is scheduled for this autumn.

Laura Skelding/Douglas Young

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has some breathing space from U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Update: Of the seven congressional nominations up Tuesday night in Central Texas, only two were competitive.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for CD 25, Julie Oliver pulled away late in the evening to beat Chris Perri by a couple thousand votes. Oliver now heads to November and a race against incumbent Republican Roger Williams and Libertarian Desarae Lindsey.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Tribune has called the Democratic primary runoff for House District 46 race for Sheryl Cole. The former Austin mayor pro-tem held a close lead throughout the night. But her opponent, immigration attorney Chito Vela, couldn’t overcome a 400-vote deficit from early voting totals.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has won the Democratic nomination for governor. A back-and-forth race early against Houston businessman Andrew White finally broke late for Valdez.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The most contested congressional race in Texas is House District 21, which stretches from South Austin to San Antonio and up into the Hill Country.

The Edge Digital Photography/Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 pages of documents on Wednesday related to its investigation about a meeting in 2016 between top Donald Trump aides and a delegation of Russians who promised to help their campaign.

The material, which includes interview transcripts and other "exhibits," is available here.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

It’s go time (again)!

Early voting in the Democratic and Republican primary runoffs runs through May 18. You may have only a few races (or none at all) on your ballot, depending on where you live.

Robin Jerstad/Marjorie Kamys Cotera via Texas Tribune

The final two candidates running for the Democratic nomination for governor met Friday night in their first and only debate before the May 22 runoff election.

Youtube via PBS NewsHour

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel will testify before senators this morning on Capitol Hill ahead of a possible vote of confidence to lead the intelligence agency. Haspel, who spent 32 years undercover for the agency, would be the first woman to lead the CIA, as well as the first career-agent to hold the post. 

However, she's faced bipartisan criticism for overseeing the use of waterboarding in interrogations during her posting at an agency site in Thailand. Watch a livestream of the U.S. Senate intelligence committee hearing below courtesy of PBS NewsHour.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / KUT

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency says the hysteria over a 2015 U.S. military exercise in Central Texas, known as Operation Jade Helm 15, was caused or fed by Russians working to use information warfare.

The exercise became big news when conspiracy theorists began spreading rumors that it was part of a government plot to lay the groundwork for martial law and mass internment.

KUT reported at the time:

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Bob Daemmrich

Blake Farenthold — a disgraced former Texas congressman who resigned last month — will not fund the special election to replace himself, he told Gov. Greg Abbott in a letter Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Gabriel C. Pérez

The candidates running for the Democratic nomination for Texas House District 46 debated tonight in a forum moderated by KUT.

Sheryl Cole and Jose "Chito" Vela each captured 39 percent of the votes in the March primary, edging out embattled state Rep. Dawnna Dukes and forcing a runoff. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Bob Daemmrich

Gov. Greg Abbott is demanding that former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold "cover all costs" of the special election to fill his seat using the $84,000 the Corpus Christi Republican used to settle a sexual harassment claim years ago.

A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to end deportation protections for some young immigrants, saying the White House was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to end the Obama-era DACA program.

In a blow to President Trump, who has long railed against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia said the Department of Homeland Security had failed to provide an adequate rationale for why the program is unlawful.

Official House portrait

Gov. Greg Abbott has called a June 30 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a consolidated case challenging Texas' House maps and congressional districts. Both sets of maps were struck down by federal courts last year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

YETI called "inaccurate" a statement from the National Rifle Association that it would no longer sell its products to The NRA Foundation, adding that it is "unwavering" in its support for the Second Amendment.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Robin Jerstad

WASHINGTON — A new poll released Wednesday suggests the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is far more competitive than many political observers have initially thought.

The poll from Quinnipiac University shows the two men in a dead heat: 47 percent of registered voters in Texas support Cruz, the Republican incumbent, while 43 percent back O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Barbara Pierce Bush, matriarch of the Bush family and former first lady of the United States, died Tuesday at 92.

Official House portrait

Four months after U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold promised to repay an $84,000 sexual harassment settlement funded by taxpayers — and 11 days after the Republican resigned his Corpus Christi seat — he has yet to write a check. And with Farenthold out of public office and increasingly out of the public eye, there's little anyone can do to force him.

Updated at 6 a.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey says he believed that the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton sent or received classified email from a private server while she was secretary of state was a "no-win" case for him that would further polarize an already deeply divided electorate.

Laura Skelding /Douglas Young

When U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced his latest fundraising haul earlier this month – a stunning $6.7 million – it was widely expected to surpass what his rival, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, brought in over the same period. Now it's clear by how much: roughly $3.5 million.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas has resettled dramatically fewer refugees in the past year, figures from Refugee Services of Texas show.

The organization said 3,518 people were resettled between October 2016 and March 2017. Between October 2017 and March of this year, only 736 were resettled. That’s a 79 percent decrease.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

As the White House continues to expand deportations and push measures to curb illegal immigration, many Texas immigrants are forced to navigate the immigration system without the help of an attorney.

Youtube via PBS News Hour

Mark Zuckerberg will continue his apology tour on Capitol Hill this morning.

The Facebook CEO testified before senators in a five-hour session yesterday afternoon, and today he’ll answer House lawmakers’ questions on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, user privacy concerns and social media’s role in Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Watch a livestream of the hearing — scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Central time — below courtesy of PBS Newshour.

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