"I'm Bill White and I want to be the next governor of our great state of Texas."
It hasn't been a huge secret here in Houston or in political circles across the state. White says his decision to switch from his U.S. Senate race to a bid for governor is all about making Texas better.
"Look, I'm a life-long Texan and my family has deep roots in Texas soil. I'm proud of the people of this state. I think we need a governor who will move this state forward. I think our governor ought to lead Texas in being the great state of opportunity and innovation in this country."Î¾
White has been mayor here in Houston since 2003. Last December, he launched a campaign for U.S. Senator that raised more than $6.5. It was stalled when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced she would not resign her senate seat despite her run for governor. White says he's ready for a fight.
"It's not going to be an easy fight. You know what's going to come at us. This campaign isn't about me. It's not about party. It's not about what people are doing in Washington. This campaign, which I ask you to join, is going to be about moving Texas forward and the people of our state. Isn't that what it ought to be about?"
Gerry Birnberg is the chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party. He says White's decision to run for Governor is a huge momentum boost for local Democrats.
"Bill White being on the November ballot in 2010 should do great things for the Democratic party, throughout the state by the way, and certainly in Harris County. People have been asking me for some time what were the chances Bill would move over and run for governor instead of senate and I said, oh, about the same as the chances of a snow storm in Houston."Î¾Î¾Î¾Î¾
White will likely face Houston hair product magnate Farouk Shami and humorist Kinky Friedman in the democratic primaries in March. University of Houston political scientist Dr. Richard Murray says White is a far better suited to be governor than a U.S. Senator.
"Almost all of his experience in life has been as an executive and a manager, not being one member of 100 voting group clashing with 99 other egos to try to get something done. This, I think, is a much better position for him to seek in terms of the tools he brings to the table."Î¾
Murray says the length of the governor's race will help White get his name out across the state, with the general election not for another 11 months.