January 07, 2005
The underground primary

The Perry VsWorld blog points to this story about the early movings of the Perry campaign in Southeast Texas. He notes that there are no quotes in support of a primary challenge by Kay Bailey Hutchison, but I think the evidence is a bit more mixed than that.

There is little enthusiasm for Hutchison among Republican voters, said David Teuscher, a Beaumont physician who serves on the state party's executive committee.

"Perry is the most conservative governor we've had, and I can't imagine why the Republican base wouldn't support him," Teuscher said.

In pushing through a redistricting plan that ousted several Democratic congressmen, balancing the budget with deep cuts rather than tax hikes and by enacting tort reform, Perry has earned the backing of the staunch conservatives who vote in Republican primaries, Teuscher said.


Some local Republican activists, however, still are undecided. Shane Howard, who started the Southeast Texas Young Republicans earlier this year, said although he's satisfied with Perry, he would take a close look at Hutchison if she enters the race.


State Rep. Mike Hamilton, R-Mauriceville, who clashed with Perry over redistricting, voting against the Republican-sponsored map on grounds it hurt rural areas, said he will wait until the legislative session ends before deciding which candidate to support.

It's easy enough to see why the State Republican Executive Committee would like to project an image of Perry as unbeatable in the primary, but I don't think reality will necessarily cooperate. Hutchison is more appealing than Perry in many ways, and she has a lot less baggage to carry. If she does get in this race, she'll have an excellent shot at it.

Meanwhile, over at Polstate, Vince Leibowitz offers a variety of scenarios on the Democratic side, and breaks the news that Barbara Radnofsky is officially in as a candidate for Senate. The news isn't on her campaign website yet, but she's been exploring this race for some time now, and given the challenge it would be, an early start would be a good idea.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 07, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack