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Posted: Dec 30, 2013 3:49 PM

Updated: Dec 30, 2013 3:50 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A generational change for GOP kingmakers could be afoot in the nation's largest Republican stronghold. Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who helped transform Texas into a GOP bastion, died Saturday and was the state's third major GOP donor to die this year. Homebuilder Bob Perry and businessman Leo Linbeck Jr., also have passed away. Republican operatives say their deaths leave a question mark for Republican candidates and organizations that have relied on their support.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The case of a man charged in the death of an Austin police officer is headed to trial. The Austin American-Statesman reports 26-year-old Brandon Daniel pleaded not guilty Monday in the death of Officer Jaime Padron. Jury selection is set to start Jan. 6. Authorities say the 40-year-old officer was shot while pursuing a suspect after responding in April to reports of a disturbance involving a drunk man at a Walmart.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Medical records have been seized from the office of a former Oklahoma City-based doctor arrested in Texas on nine murder complaints after eight patients died of prescription drug overdoses and another allegedly caused a fatal traffic accident. Court documents filed Monday say the records were seized from 71-year-old William Martin Valuck's office. Valuck was arrested at his home in Kilgore, Texas. His attorney didn't immediately respond to a phone message Monday.

ATLANTA (AP) Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says Johnny Manziel surprised observers with his quiet demeanor this season following a series of offseason distractions. Sumlin said proof of Manziel's growth also came on the field as he led No. 20 Texas A&M to a spot in Tuesday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl against No. 22 Duke. The bowl game could be Manziel's college farewell. Many expect the third-year sophomore to enter the NFL draft, though he says he's "nowhere close" to a decision.

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