Noncitizens Voter Case, Democratic Presidential Candidate Visits Texas, Beto O'Rourke's Options

Good morning!Here are the top political headlines from Austin, the campaign trail, Washington and Dallas.Points from Austin1. A federal judge weighing whether to block Texas' effort to investigate the citizenship of tens of thousands of people on its voter rolls said he wants to hear from a Secretary of State employee who abruptly resigned from the office. Betsy Schonhoff has not been served a subpoena, and there is evidence that she has been "evading service for five days," said Chad Dunn, a lawyer for a naturalized citizen whom the investigation flagged for review. The attorney general's office disputed that characterization.U.S. District Judge Fred Biery made it clear he wanted to hear Schonhoff's testimony in his court, saying he knows U.S. marshals "who are very good at finding people." 2. The members of the Texas House's conservative Freedom Caucus sounded positively giddy this week about their outlook for the session, heaping praise on new Speaker Dennis Bonnen.It's a far cry from the vocal opposition and bomb-throwing tactics that characterized the group when it formed two years ago. Its 11 members are known as some of the most staunch conservatives in the House. They advocate for laws that would restrict -- and even outlaw except in the most narrow cases -- abortion in the state, and ones that would allow Texans to carry handguns without a license.3. Sen. Angela Paxton is defending legislation that would boost the regulatory powers of the state agency her husband leads, while potentially gutting investment rules he is accused of breaking. Sen. Paxton's Senate Bill 860 would create a new program to let people market certain "innovative financial products or services" to small groups of Texas investors "without obtaining a license, registration or other regulatory authorization." The consumer protection division, under Attorney General Ken Paxton's office, would administer the program."It directly affects her husband's authority," Randall "Buck" Wood told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday. "I have never seen anybody who has tried to introduce [a bill] like this."4. At our new site, Texas Tracker: Your Guide to the State Legislature, you'll find stories, analysis and more from the Capitol. If you're a Dallas Morning News subscriber, you can customize your feed. Sign in, click the issues you want to follow, and you'll see only posts matching those topics.Points from the trail  Continue reading...

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