We don't know when - or, indeed, even if - Kay Bailey Hutchison will resign her seat in the Senate. It's conceivable that she could remain in the Senate while campaigning against Rick Perry in the GOP primary for Governor, lost that primary, then decide she doesn't want to retire from the Senate after all. Or she could just stick it out through 2012. At some point, between November of 2009 and November of 2012, there will be an election for her Senate seat. And whenever that election will be, former Comptroller and two-time candidate for Lt. Gov. John Sharp says he'll be in the running.
Sharp, who lost for lieutenant governor in 1998 and 2002, said: "I will be a candidate whether the election is in 2012 or any time before then. Texans face tough challenges that call for innovative solutions, and that's what our campaign is all about."
He said he will create a campaign committee with the state on Jan. 1 to begin raising money and campaigning.
No one has said so, but I suspect Sharp acted today to dissuade Houston Mayor Bill White from declaring his own aspirations for the Senate. White is widely expected to air his political plans soon--and speculation has centered on his leaping for governor or the Senate.
Sharp's sudden public declaration, after months spent privately telling Democrats he intends to seek the Senate seat, practically dares White to set himself up for a Sharp showdown. Alternatively, it encourages White to lean toward a run for governor.