Beto O'Rourke's Fundraising Haul, Raising the Smoking Age in Texas, Property Tax Relief Proposals

Good morning!Here are the top political headlines from the campaign trail, Austin, Washington and Dallas.Points from the trail1. In his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate last week, Beto O'Rourke says his campaign brought in $6.1 million, what he claims is a new record. The sum edges out the $5.9 million raised by Sen. Bernie Sanders in his first 24 hours as a candidate for the Democratic nomination and puts to rest any questions about whether O'Rourke can transfer the sizzle of the Texas Senate race to the national stage. Over the weekend in Iowa, O'Rourke made news for saying he would likely pick a woman as his running mate and faced criticism for being white, male and privileged. "We're all tired of only white guys running everything," said Andrea Pustell, 69, a retired registered nurse from Muscatine.It was also revealed that as a teen, he was a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow, the country's oldest group of computer hackers, and he said he isn't proud of it.You can find all our coverage of O'Rourke's campaign at this link.2. We asked @dallasnews Instagram followers what they think of O'Rourke entering the race. Here's what they said. 1. "Love it. Solidly in line with the majority of American voters without being on the fringe." - Justin Cook, @dub7382. "Not only is Beto down-to-earth and charismatic, but also compassionate. He truly cares." - Sydney Lawson, @swoot_lawson3. "Rather he stayed to run for Texas Senate in the future." - Victor Diaz, @victordiaz_214. "As a follower of Jesus I love his stance on immigration & gun control, but (his position on other issues), including abortion, I cannot support. Such a bummer ... there's never an easy choice." - Emily Williams, @emily_anne5. "All hat, no cattle. (This is coming from a liberal!)" - Evan McGarvey, @cavemengravy6. "He has no policy positions. Cute T-shirts aren't enough. This ridiculous fan culture is what got us into our present mess." - @vauxhall027. "Abortion kills it for me. Everything else sounds good. I can vote for a pro-life Democrat but there are few." - Iván, @zionsouljer8. "Big ego, very little resume." - Larry Pierce, @larrypierce19449. "I'm so extremely happy that we could have someone idealistic run our country." - Isabella Hernandez, @isavher10. "He seems to try to mimic Obama's persona. I wouldn't mind him winning the Dem nomination." - Kody Robinson, @kodyrobinsonAnd we had one Instagrammer base his opinion solely on musical taste: "He thinks Mudhoney was better than no!" (@aerorazavi)3. In a St. Patrick's Day taunt, the Republican Party invoked the stereotype of drunken Irishmen on Sunday to remind voters about O'Rourke's DWI arrest 20 years ago -- posting a photo of his mug shot with a green leprechaun hat superimposed. See the photo and read the reaction to the party's post here.4. Meanwhile, Julián Castro is fighting to stay relevant in the presidential race. Texas' "other" Democratic Party candidate for president is visiting Dallas for a fundraiser today in what's described as an opportunity for local party faithful to hear about his campaign.For all our coverage of the Castro campaign, visit this link.5. Turning to the 2020 Senate race in Texas, Gromer Jeffers Jr. writes that Sen. John Cornyn won't have a serious primary opponent, and activists who don't like him have curtailed their sniping. The thawing of relations indicates a shifting tide in the Texas Republican Party.Points from Austin  Continue reading...

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