Flooding Around Texas Prompts Disaster Declaration, Former San Antonio Mayor Presidential Run ‘Likely’, And More

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Flooding prompts disaster declaration

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 18 flood-stricken counties in Central and South Texas.

The declaration lifts state restrictions and regulations on any state response to the emergency. In his proclamation, Abbott noted that severe weather and prolonged flooding that began Oct. 7, “has caused widespread and severe property damage and threatens loss of life.”

The counties covered by the declaration include Llano, Bastrop, Burnet, Colorado, Mason, McMullen, Travis and Williamson.

Flood waters on the Colorado River at Lake Travis broke into the major flood stage above 695 feet Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The Llano River at Llano peaked at 39.9 feet in the major flood stage Tuesday before dropping to 12.8 feet in the moderate stage Wednesday morning.

Former San Antonio mayor ‘likely’ to run for president

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro speaking before a speech delivered by President Barack Obama at Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona on Jan. 8, 2015.

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says he will likely run for president in 2020.

The 44-year-old former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development told the Associated Press, “I’m likely to do it.”

Castro would join a growing list of Democratic presidential hopefuls, including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Castro says he’ll make the decision after the November midterm elections.

Study: U.S. and Mexico should work together on immigration

A new report from Rice’s Mexico Center shows how a strained U.S.-Mexico relationship could impact Central American migration, including the well-being of unaccompanied minors.

Mexico Center researcher Pamela Cruz said though in the past the two countries have worked together to curb Central American migration, they may now be poised to clash on these issues.

Trump rally scheduled in Houston

President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at Eastern Kentucky University, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Richmond, Ky.

President Donald Trump will hold a rally at Houston’s NRG Arena next Monday, October 22, the first day of early voting in Texas. In addition to Trump, the rally will also feature Senator Ted Cruz and local Republican candidates.

“People like Ted Cruz and many other Republicans need people who are Trump supporters but perhaps not die-hard Republicans to turn out and vote, and Donald Trump’s presence here in Houston will help drive them to the polls,” says Mark Jones, who teaches political science at Rice University. Cruz is locked in a tight re-election contest against Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

But Trump’s visit may prove a double-edged sword, according to University of Houston political scientist Elizabeth Simas.

“It may energize and mobilize Republicans and conservatives,” Simas says, “but it could also have a counter-mobilizing effect among Democrats and liberals as well.” That could wind up hurting Republican candidates in close races.