Around the South for May 31st: TX, VA, & LA

Texas: Cruz widens lead in Senate race.  While previous polls have called the race ‘too close to call,’ more recent ones show U.S. Senator Ted Cruz with a healthy 11 point lead in his re-election campaign against U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.  Good news for Cruz, who also boasts a sky-high visibility rating and a solid, if unspectacular approval rating.  Virginia: GOP to pick nominee to replace Garrett.  Members of the 5th District Republican Committee this Saturday will choose their nominee to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, who gave up his re-election bid last weekend, citing alcoholism.  The Democrats will run former journalist Leslie Cockburn for the seat.  Louisiana: Still no budget.  A standoff between Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and a Republican-controlled state House sees a state budget due to expire on June 30th.  A third special session in 2018 (for a total of four) will likely have to be called to resolve what has become an embarrassing affair.