Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Jr. Headline Dallas Republicans’ Reagan Day Dinner

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By Becky FogelMarch 13, 2017 12:41 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Over the weekend Donald Trump Jr. thanked Texans for supporting his father’s presidential campaign. He spoke at the annual Dallas County Republican Party Reagan Day fundraising dinner.

“Texas gave us the funds that we needed to go over and win all those other states. All those things that we weren’t supposed to win. All those areas where we had no chance. All those areas that were close that we end up blowing it through the roof. That was because of the money we raised in Texas,” Trump says.

Senator Ted Cruz also spoke at the event. He broke down the Republican Party’s four priorities this year; regulatory reform, tax reform, so-called school choice legislation…and healthcare.

“Look, nobody thinks we’re done once we repeal Obamacare. Everyone recognizes we need healthcare reform. But we need healthcare reform that results in lower costs and more choices and more competition and, you the patient, having more control over your healthcare without government getting between you and your doctor,” Cruz says.

Dallas County Republican officials said that three-quarters of the money raised at Saturday’s dinner came from new donors.

Two Democratic Congressmen considering a run for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat were also out and about this weekend – in each other’s hometowns.

U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of El Paso was in San Antonio.

O’Rourke told Texas Public Radio he’s going to make his decision about whether or not to run against Cruz soon, because he thinks Texans deserve better.

“Here’s somebody who shut down the government for 16 days in 2013 preventing folks from the VA to be able to see and take care of Veterans.” O’Rourke says.

Representative Joaquin Castro spoke in El Paso on Saturday.

The San Antonio Democrat says he’ll decide about a possible Senate run in April.

Talk of travel bans and limiting refugees from the Middle East has sparked young Muslims in Texas and across the country to address misconceptions about their faith.

Some of that informal outreach happened in Houston over the weekend. And Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik reports, the goal is to change how Muslims are viewed.

On a tranquil Saturday at a downtown Houston park a handful of millennials are holding signs reading, ‘I’m a Muslim – Ask Me Anything.’

“It is a very uncertain time – I think people are very afraid – and certainly I think times are changing are very fast,”  says Bilal Rana, one of the activists.

Rana heads the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association – a national young men and boys group. He says discrimination is a “part of life” for Muslim-Americans. But adding to longstanding concerns about Islamophobia are reports of a recent rise in hate incidents against minorities in the U.S. – and the feeling among some Muslims that policies like the Trump administration’s travel bans are targeting them.

University of Houston student Rahman Nasir says the tense climate hits home.

“For example, yesterday I wanted to go to the gym around 8-9 PM – and my mom said ‘no the tensions are high these days, it’s not safe for you to go out late by yourself,” Nasir says.

This group feels the best way to address misunderstandings of Islam is to foster an open conversation about the religion. Organizers describe it as a strong first step – one of many they hope will ease tensions.