December 16, 2004
Kinkster to declare for Gov in February

Kinky Friedman says he will announce his candidacy for Governor in early February.

Coming soon outside the Alamo: Writer, singer and showman Kinky Friedman launching his candidacy for governor live on cable TV.

Friedman said Wednesday he expects to appear on MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning" on Feb. 3 or 4, accompanied by the band Asleep at the Wheel, of Western swing fame, and a clutch of child fiddlers.

Friedman said he chose the program to formally declare his hopes which he has touted for more than a year because Imus is an old pal and "a lot of geezers watch his show in Texas."

"This could be a very long shot," said Friedman, who said his "main consultant" is his father, Tom, who died more than two years ago.

Friedman, a Chicago native who turned 60 last month, must clear legal hurdles to appear on the November 2006 ballot. Independent hopefuls for governor must file a declaration of candidacy by Jan. 2, 2006, then apply for a ballot position within 30 days after spring primary runoffs.

Any independent candidate would need to get signatures from 45,540 voters who didn't vote in either primary, equal to 1 percent of the votes cast for governor in November 2002.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: For all of the entertainment value that a Kinky Friedman candidacy would bring, I'd rather he not run because I believe he will split the anti-Rick Perry vote. I want that vote to remain nice and concentrated, thankyouverymuch. Whoever the Democratic candidate is, he or she won't have much margin for error, and this won't help.

UPDATE: The Kinkster's pending announcement has already caused at least one moral dilemma. Expect more to follow.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 16, 2004 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

While I agree, I'm not sure that I have any real faith that the Democratic Party stands a snowball's chance in hell of winning the governor's seat anyway - it may be better for us to concentrate our resources on winning state house and senate races, esp. when one considers the limited (albeit symbolic) powers the Texas governor has anyway.

Maybe we should secretly cross our fingers for some kind of Jesse Ventura/wouldn't-it-be-hilarious-if-this-guy-won/youth-vote scenario where Kinky comes out on top? A little diffusion of our partisan tension wouldn't be terrible.

PS - Do you really think Perry is going to be the Republican nominee?

Posted by: sarah on December 16, 2004 8:57 AM

I think the Democrat's odds of winning are marginally better than "snowball in hell", and in any event I'm not yet willing to give up on that. As for concentrating on the other races, I believe having a strong candidate at the top of the ticket will help them, while the lack of same will hurt. I don't believe that reducing the size of the battlefield will be beneficial.

That said, if Friedman turns out to be our version of Jesse Ventura, I won't object. He'd certainly be better than four more years of Governor Goodhair.

As to your last question, I think KBH has a good chance of knocking him off in a primary if she runs, but it's not a cinch. And she hasn't announced yet, so anything can happen. So for my money, he's the one to beat until further notice.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on December 16, 2004 9:39 AM

The Teas "primary" system sucks. When we moved here I had no idea that voting in primaries makes us ineligible to sign petitions for independents and third parties. If I knew that I wouldn't have voted in the primary this year.

Not many states I know of do this, and Texas law sucks in this regard. There's a difference between supporting a candidate (or a party) and affirming the rights of other third-party/independents to be on the ballot with enough support.

As long as this law is in effect, I'll never vote in a Texas primary again.

Posted by: Tim on December 17, 2004 11:52 AM

I am an Arizona resident, relocating here from New York City. I have more than a few friends in Texas and we do talk about what is going on there. Personally, I would like to see you run and win. I think politics needs a huge shake-up and I believe you would shake the he.. out of 'good ol boy' cameraderie there. Good luck to you, Kinky. I wish you well.

Posted by: F. Ryan Mackay on January 22, 2006 7:39 PM