Troops to the Border, Stickland to Leave Legislature, Democrats Set to Debate, Colin Allred's Baseball Dreams, Dallas Mayor's Ambitious Goals

Good morning! Here are the top political headlines from Austin, Washington, the campaign trail and Dallas.Points from Austin1. Citing an "escalating crisis," Gov. Greg Abbott said that the state will send 1,000 additional National Guard troops to the border to deal with an influx of immigrants -- and that the federal government will pay for them. "All this is necessary because Congress refuses to do its job," Abbott said, faulted Congress for refusing to pass laws to overhaul the nation's immigration system and for not dealing with what he called a "humanitarian crisis" at the border.Democrats were quick to pan the move.2. Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, will not seek re-election to a fifth term. The tea party firebrand has was a favorite of far-right groups and a well-known supporter of more permissive gun laws. He vehemently opposed abortion and clashed with members of both parties, often resulting in him being the lone dissenter on popular bipartisan legislation. Here's more from reporter Lauren McGaughy about his career as a legislator.3. In 2017, Texas A&M University blocked white nationalist Richard Spencer from speaking on campus because of security concerns. That same year, Texas Southern University shut down an event featuring a conservative state lawmaker who drew protests from liberal faculty and students. Conservatives cried censorship, and college students were mocked for being oversensitive and accused of trying to drown out opposing viewpoints.Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed into law a campus free speech bill, but will it change the climate on campuses?Bob's breakdownBob Garrett is the Austin bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News. A fifth-generation Texan, he has covered state government and politics for decades. Here, Bob offers his take from the Capitol. Rep. Jonathan Stickland's announcement Monday that he won't seek re-election underscores how the 2018 midterms were an upheaval in Texas politics: Not that the Democratic wave seen last November will continue, necessarily, but that it shattered incumbent state politicians' comfortable assumptions. Basically, we're at the end of a redistricting cycle, districts are changing because of population growth and mobility, and the Beto O'Rourke-led Democratic ticket outperformed. Not only did Democrats post a net gain of a dozen seats in the Texas House, they came within 10 percentage points of the winning Republican in 17 other races - 10 of them in North Texas. Statewide, nine of the GOP wins - and nine is the magic number for Democrats to seize the House - were by margins of 6.8 percentage points or less. In North Texas, six Republicans won by less than 4 points. Next year's general election could as easily push the Legislature further to the right as put Dems in charge of the House: There's no longer going to be straight-ticket voting. The Dems' ticket toppers could be duds compared with O'Rourke. Who knows? But Stickland's departure points to uncertainty for GOP House incumbents such as Matt Shaheen, Morgan Meyer, Angie Chen Button and Jeff Leach, each of whom had tighter races than did he last fall. Nail-biting times for them ...Points from the trail  Continue reading...

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