Two noted Texas political analysts say Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s decision to not run for a third term has attracted the undivided attention of a number of top Republican party office holders and hopefuls. Houston Public Radio’s Jim Bell explains.
Kay Hutchison brought the Texas political pot to a boil when she told Texas Monthly that she won’t run again in 2012, and she may resign early to run for Governor in 2010. Austin consultant Bill Miller says Hutchison is hugely popular statewide, and Governor Rick Perry needs to think long and hard about running against her in the GOP primary.
“I think that if he’s thinking about running again, and certainly he hasn’t ruled it out, and a lot of people speculate about that, I think it’s clear today, if it wasn’t clear yesterday or the day before, that he’s gonna have a very very formidable primary opponent.”
Perry hasn’t said what his plans are, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is known to be thinking of running for Governor. Rice University political scientist Bob Stein says despite her popularity, Hutchison could still lose the primary because she’s not as conservative as they.
“Kay does not do well with the core Republicans. She is much more popular with what I will call “weak” Republicans and Independents. That’s where her base of support swells to the 60 and 70 percent favorable ratings. Among core Republicans you know there’s a lot of feeling that her position on things like abortion, stem cell research, S-CHIP and immigration, she stands in real contrast to someone like Cornyn.”
Stein joins Bill Miller in saying the next governor’s race will definitely be one to watch. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.