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* A federal court has struck down Texas' voter ID law, judging that the state didn't demonstrate that the measure would not harm minorities' voting rights. Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott says he will appeal the decision.

* Mitt Romney is using his tenure at Bain Capital to go on offense in a new way. He's launched a website touting his record there. The site features videos from people who worked with Romney explaining how he helped them.

* Romney arrived at a fundraiser in St. Petersburg Thursday morning, where about 1,000 donors were gathered. He was introduced by former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice. "In case you haven’t heard, I’m going to be speaking tonight,” Romney joked.

* A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll shows the race between Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Democratic businessman Patrick Murphy is about even, with Murphy at 47 percent and West at 46 percent.


* It looks like Clint Eastwood is the mystery speaker at the Republican National Convention, after all.

* The DCCC has added four races to its "Red To Blue" list, which denotes the most competitive opportunities for challengers and open race candidates. The new additions and Democrats running in the races: former Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's 9th district race, former Connecticut state legislator Elizabeth Esty's 5th district race, Florida's 26th district race (which features former nominee Joe Garcia), and Minnesota's 8th district race, where former Democratic congressman Rick Nolan is running. Sinema won the Democratic nomination earlier this week and will face Republican Vernon Parker in a competitive contest.

* A source familiar with Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) plans says his speech introducing Romney Thursday night at the GOP convention will touch on themes of Americans exceptionalism, including the senator's experience growing up as the son of Cuban exiles.

* Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) GOP convention speech drew about 20 million viewers Wednesday night. By comparison, about 37 million tuned in four years ago for Sarah Palin's address at the convention.


A musical meal.

With Aaron Blake