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BC-TX--Texas News Digest, TX



Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes

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Texas news at midnight CST.

Diana Heidgerd is on the desk after 5 a.m. CST, reachable at 972-991-2100. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to aptexas@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 1-888-273-6867.

TOP STORY:

TEXAS ELECTION

AUSTIN, Texas — Tea party candidates have flexed new muscle in Texas as voters rewarded Republicans who talked tough on immigration and abortion in the nation's first primary election, while Democrat Wendy Davis urged a return to less divisive politics in her high-profile run for governor. Attorney General Greg Abbott also avoided harsh rhetoric in becoming the Republican pick to succeed Gov. Rick Perry, but the softer tone likely won't last long in Texas' first open governor's race in two decades. Other Republicans who ran in the combative style of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, whose influence cast a long shadow this primary season, kept it up and declared that the tea party isn't going anywhere. By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 900 words, photos.

ELECTION-ANALYSIS

AUSTIN, Texas — Both political parties faced major tests in the 2014 primary elections, with tea party groups hoping to defeat established Republicans deemed too moderate and Democrats hoping to start building a base capable of mobilizing enough voters to be competitive come November. By Chris Tomlinson. UPCOMING: 600 words after polls close.

With:

— TEXAS GOVERNOR'S RACE.

— TEXAS ELECTION-FIVE THINGS TO KNOW.

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS:

ELECTION-US SENATE

AUSTIN, Texas — U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has trounced a conservative Texas congressman to claim the Republican nomination, a victory that could ease his path to re-election after some tea party activists targeted him as too moderate. The Senate's No. 2 Republican as minority whip, Cornyn has often been named among the chamber's most conservative members, but hasn't been endorsed by Texas' junior senator, conservative firebrand Ted Cruz. Some leading grass-roots groups in Texas have also decried Cornyn as too entrenched in Washington and too cozy with the GOP establishment. By Will Weissert. SENT: 600 words, photos.

ELECTION-LT GOVERNOR

AUSTIN, Texas — Firebrand conservative radio talk show host and Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick pushed incumbent David Dewhurst into a runoff for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, threatening to oust Dewhurst from one of the state's most powerful offices after 11 years. Patrick, who has been part of Dewhurst's Senate leadership team and one of his fiercest critics, made a run at nomination outright in a campaign that challenged Dewhurst's credentials as a conservative and cast him as too moderate for the future of the party. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 600 words, photos.

TEXAS ELECTION-BUSH

FORT WORTH, Texas — George P. Bush has taken the first step toward continuing his family's political dynasty, shaking off an under-funded primary challenger and securing the Republican nomination for the little-known but powerful post of Texas land commissioner. The 37-year-old Fort Worth attorney is the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, nephew of former President and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and son of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is frequently mentioned as a possible GOP White House hopeful in 2016. By Will Weissert and Jamie Stengle. SENT: 380 words, photos.

TEXAS ELECTION-OLDEST CONGRESSMAN

ROCKWALL, Texas — A conservative former U.S. attorney forced the oldest member of the U.S. House into a runoff election for the Republican nomination. SENT: 250 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

ARMSTRONG-LAWSUIT

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas appeals court has temporarily blocked an arbitration panel from reviewing $12 million in bonuses paid to Lance Armstrong by a company that wants its money back, stopping efforts to force him to give new sworn testimony about his doping past. SCA Promotions has sought to reopen a 2006 settlement paid to Armstrong since his 2013 admission to using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career to win the Tour de France. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 500 words. Moving on general and sports news services.

GAY MARRIAGE-APPEALS COURT

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of Republicans has come out in support of legalizing gay marriage in Utah and Oklahoma, arguing that allowing same-sex unions is consistent with the Western conservative values of freedom and liberty once championed by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. Led by former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, 20 Republicans signed a friend of the court brief submitted to a federal appeals court in Denver that is reviewing same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma. Including Utah and Oklahoma, six federal judges have issued pro-gay-marriage rulings since a June Supreme Court ruling struck down part of the federal anti-gay-marriage law. The latest came last week in Texas. By Brady McCombs. SENT: 800 words, photos.

With:

— GAY MARRIAGE-MICHIGAN — An economist has testified that children raised by heterosexual parents had a much greater chance of making normal progress through school than those living with same-sex couples, putting his own spin on census data that was crunched differently by another expert at Michigan's gay-marriage trial. By Ed White. SENT: 500 words, photos.

SAT UPGRADE

WASHINGTON — The SAT college entrance exam taken last year by 1.6 million students is getting its first upgrade since 2005. The nonprofit College Board has scheduled an announcement for Wednesday afternoon in Austin, Texas, to spell out the changes. The changes will be rolled out in 2016. By Education Writer Kimberly Hefling. SENT: 40 words. UPCOMING: Details from 1 p.m. CST.

ENERGY LAB

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Halliburton Co. is the latest corporation to support construction of an energy research laboratory at the University of Wyoming in response to the state's push to improve energy and engineering programs there. Officials from Halliburton and the state said the Houston-based energy services company is donating $3 million. Of that, $2 million will help fund construction of a laboratory complex while $1 million will support research. The state will match those amounts. By Ben Neary. SENT: 650 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— AMERICAN AIRLNIES-PILOTS — Pilots for US Airways are suing to have an arbitrator settle a standoff with American Airlines pilots over seniority rights as the two carriers are combined. SENT: 180 words.

— STATE FAIR OF TEXAS-THEME — The 2014 State Fair of Texas will include a Texas Sports Hall of Fame exhibit and an effort to fight hunger by turning canned foods into art. SENT: 130 words.

— HOUSTON-COUSIN KILLED — A Mexican man has been extradited to Texas on a charge of killing his 10-year-old cousin when her family tried to kick him out of their home in 2004. SENT: 130 words.

________________

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to aptexas@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. If you have questions about the Texas AP news report, please contact News Editor James Beltran at 972-991-2100 or jbeltran@ap.org.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Texas and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.

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