Texas: Democratic gubernatorial money lags. By the last day of 2017, Andrew White, son of the late Gov. Mark White (D), had raised $219,000, including $40,000 from himself, for his campaign for governor, while his leading opponent in the Democratic Primary, former Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez, raised $46,000. White ended the year with $104,000 on hand, Valdez had $40,000. Both are far, far behind Republican incumbent Greg Abbott, who had $43.3 million on hand ……. Virginia: Poll respondents split on “taking a knee.” A survey of some 788 adults by Virginia Commonwealth University found a 50/50 division on whether high school athletes should be banned from protesting by kneeling during the National Anthem. By race, 62% of minority respondents opposed such a ban, but only 45% of whites; by party, 67% of Democrats opposed a ban; 31% of Republicans ……. Florida: Rooney wants permanent ban on drilling. Freshman US Rep. Francis Rooney (R) has introduced legislation that would make permanent the temporary ban on drilling for oil in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, off Florida’s coast. Unless such a bill passes, reports Sunshine State News, the current ban will expire in 2022 …….