Here are things to know for Wednesday, March 2:
1. Texas primary sets up Abbott-O’Rourke race as midterms begin
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will face Democrat Beto O’Rourke after voters in Texas opened what could be a lengthy, bruising primary season poised to reshape political power from state capitals to Washington.
Both easily won their party’s nomination for governor on Tuesday. Abbott is now in a commanding position as he seeks a third term, beginning his run with more than $50 million and campaigning on a strongly conservative agenda in America’s largest Republican state. That leaves O’Rourke facing an uphill effort to recapture the magic of his 2018 Senate campaign, when he nearly ousted Ted Cruz.
“This group of people, and then some, are going to make me the first Democrat to be governor of the state of Texas since 1994,” O’Rourke told supporters in Fort Worth, where in 2018 he flipped Texas’ largest red county. “This is on us. This is on all of us.”
2. Harris County Elections administrator denies vote count delay claim made by Secretary of State
Moments after the Secretary of State said Harris County election officials would not have the primary election results by the statutory deadline due to damaged ballots, the Harris County Elections administrator denied the vote count delay and the damaged ballots.
“This has been a complete mess. We’ve had equipment delays, we’ve had equipment problems — equipment wasn’t delivered, we had polls that we’re unable to be set up. And now ballots that won’t be counted in time by tomorrow, 24 hours after they close? And this should have been planned,” said Harris County Republican Chair, Cindy Siegel.
Secretary of State John Scott said his office was informed that Harris County officials will not be able to count and report results for all early and Election Day votes by the deadline of 7 p.m. Wednesday.
3. More Similac baby formula recalled after infant death, FDA says
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that Abbott Laboratories recalled some Similac PM 60/40 cans and cases produced at a Michigan facility, after an infant who was exposed to the powdered baby formula died.
A few days earlier, Abbott recalled certain Alimentum, Similac and EleCare baby formulas made at the facility in Sturgis city following complaints about bacterial infections in infants who consumed the products.
The FDA had then said it was investigating the consumer complaints.
4. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to undergo compliance review to evaluate accessibility for disabled people
The U.S. Attorney’s Office will conduct a compliance review of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to evaluate accessibility for disabled individuals planning to attend the event, U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Tuesday.
The investigation stems from complaints that RodeoHouston, which will run from Feb. 28 to March 20, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The allegations include failing to provide accessible parking, accessible seating, and accessible routes. The review will be conducted under Title III of the ADA which prohibits private places of public accommodation to discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
5. Video: Suspects assault man during home invasion, steal rifle, Glock 42 before fleeing the scene, police say
Surveillance video captured footage of two armed suspects accused of assaulting a man during a home invasion in southwest Houston on Jan. 28, according to the Houston Police Department.
The home invasion was reported around 5:10 a.m. as the victim was sleeping inside his apartment located in the 8700 block of Town Park Drive.
Police said the man heard a loud bang before the two gunmen entered his apartment. The suspects demanded money from the man and then hit him in the face several times with their handguns. The armed then rummaged through the apartment and stole the man’s cellphone, a M4 carbine rifle and a .380 Glock 42 .
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism