Around the South for Feb. 2: TX, VA & TN

Texas: Clinton hires first staffer. Amid some complaints that Hillary Clinton’s firewall in the Southern primaries was not adequately organized, her campaign announced it has hired its first paid operative in Texas, Houston community activist Carlos Paz Jr., reports The Texas Tribune. The campaign now has professional staff for all the March 1 primaries ……. Virginia: Gun compromise brings mixed reaction. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican state legislators agreed to a compromise on gun control, providing for law enforcement officers at gun shows to conduct background checks, while also agreeing to recognize concealed-handgun permits from other states. Most saw the deal as progress, but some gun control advocates believe McAuliffe gave away the store ……. Tennessee: Cohen loses one foe, might gain another. US Rep. Steve Cohen (D), who is white and represents the 60%-black 9th District (Memphis, etc.), will not face a primary challenge from state Democratic Senate Leader Lee Harris, who bowed out last week, reports the Commercial Appeal. However, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar, a Republican, says he will decide in late February or early March whether he will challenge Cohen, who won with 75% of the vote in 2014 …….