I realize that I'm as guilty as anyone in jumping ahead to the 2010 Governor's race and who-knows-when Senate race, so let me give Phillip a chance to tell us what he really thinks.
Did I miss the filing deadline for the Governor's race? Did we fast forward to October 2010? Or aren't we still in the year 2008?
Having said that, this is a legitimate concern.
Bexar County Democratic Chair Carla Vela said: "For the last year, I thought for sure that Bill White was the one ... I haven't heard anybody else mention the governorship, and I wish they would. We can't just hand it over to Kay or Perry again."
The only other oft-mentioned Democrat for governor, former Comptroller John Sharp, also announced earlier this month that he will run for Senate.
Another potential Democratic candidate for the Senate seat, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, said the vacuum in the governor's race is caused by the fact Democrats don't know who the Republican nominee will be.
"If people knew it was going to be a Rick Perry, you'd see folks willing to put their name forward," Van de Putte said. "People understand in a general election that Kay Bailey Hutchison is such an intense brand, it's hard to get market share on that one."
"People ask me all the time who's going to run for governor," said Vela, the Bexar County Democratic chair. "I don't see any shining stars who come out saying, 'I want to be governor!' "
There's one more thing that needs to be considered, and that's the possibility that KBH won't resign before the November, 2010 election. RG Ratcliffe estimates the odds of that at 45%. I think that may be a bit low now, especially if more Republicans join in with Rep. Pete Sessions in puhlicly entreating her to stay put, at least until then.
So, while Ratcliffe believes (correctly, in my view) that it would be highly questionable for a candidate to file for Governor in 2010, and also for a May 2010 Senate special election, a slightly different scenario comes to my mind: Run for Governor in 2010, and if you don't succeed, run for Senate in the special election of May 2011. Nobody would hold it against Bill White or John Sharp if either of them changed course now, and having made a sincere run for Governor in 2010 and established a statewide presence and fundraising base, it would be easy to turn around and gear up for the special election that would follow if it were KBH to whom they had just lost. Barring a voyage-of-the-damned gubernatorial campaign, he would then be the clear Democratic frontrunner for the Senate seat. If you want to maximize your chances of winning something statewide, this seems to me to be the way to go. Assuming, of course, that KBH heeds the call of those who are asking her to run as a sitting Senator rather than as an ex-Senator. You might even get to run against Rick Perry instead of a cast of thousands. Who knows? All I'm saying is that it looks like a decent shot to me. What do you think?Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 22, 2008 to Election 2010