It's not what I wanted, and it's not what I'd have chosen had he asked me, but it looks like Mayor Bill White has his eyes on a Senate race.
Ending months of speculation about his political future, White plans to announce the plans at an event next week, according to two knowledgeable sources, who would only speak on condition of anonymity.
White, a third-term mayor and former state Democratic Party chair, has been discussed for years as a possible gubernatorial candidate, in part because of his appeal as a moderate, popular leader from the state's most-populous city.
White declined to confirm his intentions this evening, saying it would be inappropriate to discuss his political future on the day the city buried a police officer. He said he plans to make an announcement next week.
He also said that it's "possible, but unlikely'' he will change his mind over the weekend.
In considering his future in recent weeks, White said a number of Texans have indicated he should ``try to shape policies that can result in secure and affordable and cleaner forms of energy, both for this community and for the country. That's been a big part of a lot of conversations.''
The mayor joins another moderate Democrat seeking the seat, former Texas Comptroller John Sharp, who announced earlier this week that he plans to get into the race.
Now, it's not that I doubt White's abilities as a campaigner or fundraiser. Quite the contrary, in fact. My fear, however, is that with two strong Democrats in the race among all those Republicans, you might wind up with neither one making the runoff. Nothing is impossible, of course, and we don't even know when - or for that matter, if - KBH's seat will come open before 2012. I'm just saying again, if it were up to me, I'd have pushed a governor's race.
Of course, the argument against that is the likelihood of facing off against KBH, who would be a very tough opponent. She's releasing a poll that shows her with a lead over everyone at this time. Of course, it's two years out, KBH hasn't withstood a sustained attack from Rick Perry or shifted any of her positions to accommodate GOP primary voters, White hasn't had a chance to introduce himself and make his case, etc etc etc. If we learned anything from this Presidential cycle, it should be that early polling means nothing. But if it was intended to scare off challengers and dampen opposition fundraising, it probably succeeded.
So after all that speculation, this seems to be where we've ended up. It's not what I was hoping for, assuming this is the final answer, but it's what we've got. We still need to know when this election will be, and we need to stay focused on a state slate for 2010. I hope there's a lot more to follow this.Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 12, 2008 to Election 2010