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First Read's Morning Clips: Spotlight on Texas

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: George P. Bush speaks during the victory party
George P. Bush speaks during the victory party for Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott on Nov. 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas.Erich Schlegel / Getty Images file

MIDTERM MADNESS: Political spotlight shines on the Lone Star State

POLITICO looks at the difficult job of NRSC chief Cory Gardner.

CA-GOV: Gavin Newsom has officially filed to run for governor.

CA: It looks like engineer T.J. Cox will switch races to face David Valadao.

FL: The Florida state Senate has approved a gun bill that imposes a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, raises the age limit for gun buyers to 21 and allows some teachers to carry guns in the classroom. It heads to the House now.

FL-SEN: Rick Scott Watch: He spent the weekend hobnobbing with influential donors.

IA-2: Dave Loebsack has a new GOP challenger.

MS-SEN: Thad Cochran will retire April 1, setting up a special election in the fall. Here’s NBC’s Jonathan Allen on how the move could shake up the other Senate race in the state.

Here’s more on the race from Mississippi Today.

And there’s more: former Democratic congressman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy says he’s thinking about running for the seat.

RI-GOV: A new poll finds incumbent Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican challenger Allan Fund in what could be a tight race.

TN-GOV: Phil Bredesen is focusing on a grassroots-style campaign.

TX: Alex Seitz-Wald previews today’s Texas primary contests.

And be sure to follow along with the coverage from the Texas Tribune, too.

WI-GOV: Scott Walker has penned a column urging Trump to reconsider his tariff plan.

WI-SEN: Concerned Veterans for America is launching a big ad buy targeting Tammy Baldwin on VA issues.

TRUMP AGENDA: Sam Nunberg’s rollercoaster day on cable TV

Here’s our wrap of yesterday’s rollercoaster interviews with ex-Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who first embraced and then backed away from a vow to defy a subpoena from Bob Mueller.

ICYMI: Paul Ryan is not happy with Trump’s threats to impose steel and aluminum tariffs.

The New York Times writes that Trump’s hopes to be the “neutral guy” in the Middle East didn’t exactly pan out.

Ben Carson says this of his new job: “There are more complexities here than in brain surgery.”

POLITICO does a deep dive into exactly what Trump means when he talks about “loyalty.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Michael Cohen’s payment to Stormy Daniels was reported as suspicious by the bank.

From NBC’s Suzy Khimm: “As part of Trump's government-wide push for deregulation, the ATF has stalled a number of gun regulations that had been moving forward under Obama, including a new requirement to make secure gun storage or safety devices more widely available.”

Jane Timm writes on the looming court fight over voting rights between Kris Kobach and the ACLU.

Babies with Down syndrome are in the spotlight in the abortion fight, writes the Washington Post.