For the first time in years, two well known Texans want to run for governor as independents outside the two major parties. Political observers say running as an independent is easy, if they can get on the ballot.
Republican State Controller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and singer-songwriter-novelist Kinky Friedman say they will for Governor as independent candidates. To get on the ballot, they have 60 days after the March 7th primaries to gather 45,540 petition signatures of registered voters who didn’t vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. Austin political pundit Harvey Kronberg says both will hire professionals to do that.
Kronberg says the process is clouded by runoffs 30 days after March 7th. Runoffs are part of the primary, and only people who don’t vote in either can sign an independent’s petition. To be safe, some independents wait till after the runoffs to circulate petitions, which cuts their gathering time to just 30 days. Kronberg thinks this law is unfairly stacked against independents, and he says he’s not alone.
Two years ago, Reform Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader took Texas to court when his petitions to get on the ballot fell short of the required number of signatures, but his lawsuit was dismissed.