Not in 2006, anyway.
Secretary of Commerce Don Evans said Thursday that he won't run for governor in 2006, despite being encouraged by a few friends to consider a Republican primary challenge of Gov. Rick Perry.
"I have no intention and no interest at all in running for governor in 2006," Evans said in a telephone interview with the Houston Chronicle, responding to recent speculation that he may be eyeing a gubernatorial bid.
"The only political aspirations I've had is to serve the president," Evans said.
The former Midland oilman and longtime friend of President Bush didn't rule out a possible gubernatorial race in 2010 but said it was too early to think about that now.
"That's a long way down the road. We will have to wait and see," Evans said.
"I do enjoy public service," he added. "I'm not going to rule anything out."
Perry plans to seek a second full term in 2006. But his job approval ratings have been slipping in recent months, and two other prominent Republicans -- U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn -- are believed to be considering primary races against him.
Evans said "a friend or two" had encouraged him to consider a gubernatorial race.
"We're not talking about any groundswell. We're talking about a handful of people," he said. "But I have no interest, no desire."