Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of December 10, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

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To the Right

Are Republican candidates moving to the right? That's what an article from the Dallas Morning News suggests.

Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t on the ballot next year, but as candidates meet Monday’s filing deadline for Republican primaries, he appears ever-present.

Cruz’s tea party-fueled, come-from-behind trouncing of David Dewhurst in the Senate race last year has provided him a gravitational pull that is moving GOP candidates further right and producing scores of would-be first-time officeholders.

“You’ve got two things happening,” said Republican political consultant Bill Miller. One of them is the “Cruz phenomenon, and he is the phenom at this moment,” he said.

“The other is that conservatives believe that if they’re going to succeed — with the Democratic administration in Washington and the Obamacare fiasco — that this is the year,” Miller said.

As statewide Republican candidates stake claims on being the “true conservative” in their races, their campaign videos and mailers are devoted to gun rights, shrinking government, tea party endorsements, fighting Washington and slashing spending.

But even in the contest for governor, where front-runner Greg Abbott promises to be more conservative than current standard-bearer Rick Perry, the attorney general is finding opponents tacking to his right.

He faces challenges from former radio host Lisa Fritsch and Secede Kilgore, whose legally changed name says it all.

“Everybody is running to the right: incumbents, challengers and the like. That’s the flavor of the season,” Miller said.

The lineups for the March 4 Republican and Democratic primaries will take shape Monday evening, as candidates must declare whether they’ll run for federal, state and county offices.

The DMN may be right, but I have my doubts. It's easy to say you are a conservative republicans or a tea party republican. The problem many candidates have is that they can't act that way. I urge all voters to listen to the candidates own words in interviews. Don't stick to reading a website or some polished mailer that goes out. Do some research and listen.

Texas 2014

Yesterday was the deadline for candidates to file for the Texas 2014 Primaries and we did get some surprises at the end of the day. Former Lubbock County Republican Party Chairman Chris Winn will make his second attempt to oust Congressman Randy Neugebauer. According to the Texas Tribune, Senator John Cornyn drew a primary challenge from Congressman Steve Stockman.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, has filed to run against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the March GOP primary, joining at least eight other hopefuls vying for the senior senator's seat, according to a spokesman with the Republican Party of Texas.

Stockman, who had filed for re-election in Congressional District 36, had to withdraw from that race to seek Cornyn's seat.

In an interview with the website WND, Stockman said he was running because he was "extremely disappointed in the way [Cornyn] treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined Ted Cruz’s fight to stop Obamacare.”

As of Sept. 30, Cornyn had nearly $7 million in cash on hand, and will be a formidable incumbent. But some members of his own party have been gunning for him on the right, questioning his decision in late September not to not back U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's tactics in opposing the Affordable Care Act. In a break with tradition, Cruz has pointedly declined to endorse Cornyn's re-election bid.

GOP political consultant Matt Mackowiak said Stockman faces an uphill battle, from recent investigations into his political and fundraising operation to Cornyn’s “huge bankroll.”

“Now we will find out if Sen. Cornyn is truly vulnerable, which I have doubted,” Mackowiak said, adding, "I predict that not one member of the congressional delegation will support Stockman. Ultimately, he will need outside groups to spend, and that is the most important unknown right now.”

Cornyn's other challengers in the Republican primary are relative unknowns. They include attorney and activist Linda Vega, Liberty businessman Dwayne Stovall, and Tea Party candidates Reid Reasor and Chris Mapp.

In the Democratic primary, Dallas dental mogul David Alameel faces El Paso lawyer Maxey Scherr and former GOP House candidate Michael Fjetland of Houston, who switched parties after the 2006 elections.

Stockman's entry into the Senate race leaves an open door for last-minute filers in CD-36. John Amdur of Houston and Phil Fitzgerald of Hull have filed for that race.

Hold on folks, this is going to get real interesting.

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