November 07, 2008
Let the speculation for 2010 begin!

OK, speculation about who might run for what in 2010 has been going on for weeks, if not months. But with this election (mostly) behind us now, it feels like we've had an official start for it, like the opening of deer season or something. So with that in mind, let's see what the two most-speculated-upon public officials in Texas are saying about their future plans.

[Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison} told reporters she is still on the path of becoming a candidate for governor.

She said she would feel more comfortable resigning her current post to run now that U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has won re-election.

"From the standpoint of Texas in the Senate, if I did decide to step down in order to run for governor, Texas would actually be well-positioned because John Cornyn will have had a full term," Hutchison said. "And this really is a better time to be bringing someone new in to build seniority when you've got someone who has it. Four years ago would have been less advantageous."

That's a pretty clever way to ret-con what happened in 2006, isn't it? Here's a thought that got expressed to me recently: If KBH really does step down next June instead of doing double duty, the special election to fill her unexpired term would take place in November of 2009, right alongside a high-turnout Mayoral race in Houston, which would bring a disproportionate number of Democrats to the polls. I'm thinking the GOP would like to avoid that scenario, much as they maneuvered to schedule the tort "reform" Prop 12 vote in 2003 in September. They can't do that any more, since it's no longer a uniform election date, but they could try to make it happen in May of 2010; all she has to do is resign in the fall instead of the summer. Just something to think about.

While speaking at a University of Texas conference Wednesday, [Mayor Bill] White said he is considering a run for Hutchison's Senate seat if she resigns to run for governor, but he also said he may decide to join the 2010 gubernatorial race.

The mayor also said he is not "jockeying" for a possible appointment as U.S. energy secretary in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama.


When asked about the Senate race or running for governor, White said he is weighing both options.

"I like managing organizations, which is more executive. And one of my passions is energy policy and sound economic policy, which is the challenge in D.C.," White said. "But I better be listening to people and thinking in the near future."

I feel pretty confident that Mayor White will not lose focus on his agenda for Houston this year. I also continue to believe that he'll be the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2010. It's the best fit for him, and I think it's eminently winnable, even against KBH. The main argument against this is if the DSCC promises to throw truckloads of money at him, like they didn't do for Rick Noriega (not that I'm keeping score or anything). Who else might want to run for either of these offices is a factor as well.

One thing I would love to see, regardless of which office White runs for, is some of Obama's campaign chiefs coming down here to run one or more statewide races for Democratic candidates. They've proven they can win in red states, and it would put them on the road to making a real play for Texas' electoral votes in 2012. Yeah, I'm wishcasting a bit, but why not? It's time for another challenge, and there's much potential for growth here. C'mon down, y'all, we can use all the help we can get.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 07, 2008 to Election 2010
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