January 15, 2009
Waiting for KBH, the saga continues

Could someone please inform Brownsox that while it is certainly possible that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison may resign this year and thus set up a special election for her seat in May of 2010, it's rather an overbid to say that she is "expected" to do so? Some of us think she'll stick it out in DC a lot longer than that, and some of her Republican colleagues would prefer she make that choice as well. For sure, we could be wrong about this. Nobody really knows with Kay - that's my point. It would be nice if the national guys could broaden their perspectives a bit on this.

And then, of course, there's this.

Gov. Rick Perry expressed doubts Tuesday that U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will enter the 2010 Republican primary race against him and said Texans want a leader like him with "big ideas."

Perry, after addressing lawmakers on opening day of the Texas Legislature, talked about his record as governor and his ideas for the future in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press. The state's longest-serving governor, Perry said he wants to run next year for a third full term in office.

Hutchison has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor in 2010.

Perry noted that she hasn't formally jumped into the race and, when asked whether he has doubts that she will, Perry said: "Oh yeah. I mean, there's plenty of time for the senator to think that it's not in her best interest, Texas' best interest or the country's best interest to leave the United States Senate and come run for governor. But that's, again, that's her call.

"I'm running," Perry added. "I've announced, I'm in, I'm here and I'm enjoying continuing to move Texas forward."

God help us all. This is all mind games, of course, and for all we know this time it will have the opposite effect. Some of Perry's own supporters have already jumped ship on him in favor of the promise of KBH. The point remains, however, that she has a track record of waffling on what she wants to be when she grows up. I don't expect anything from her but uncertainty right up until the very end.

UPDATE: As if I needed more data:

At the Capitol on Wednesday, Hutchison told Politico that she's going to "stay here this year regardless." She subsequently equivocated a bit, saying she still could resign very late this year -- or "stay for two years."

But even waiting until late this year could be a big help to the GOP. Under Texas law, Gov. Rick Perry -- a Republican -- would appoint a short-term replacement for Hutchison. A special election would likely be held in November 2009 if Hutchison resigns before Sept. 28. If she resigns later in the year, the special election wouldn't be held until May 2010.


Hutchison, who plans to run for governor in 2010, has been under pressure from Republican colleagues to stay in her Senate seat as long as she can.

"She's a great lady, and I don't blame her if she wants to run for governor, but the fact is we'd like her not to," said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). "We'd like her to stay right here."

Added a senior GOP aide: "I cannot imagine that ... Sen. Hutchison would abandon her seat to pursue her own ambitions and even risk giving Democrats a supermajority in the Senate."

The more I think about it, the more likely I believe she is to remain in office through at least 2010. You think her junior colleague, the chair of the NRSC, who's already dealing with three open seats in swing states created by retirements, with more perhaps to come, might beseech her to keep her butt in place a little while longer? Yeah, me too.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 15, 2009 to Election 2010

If big ideas equate to big hair, KBH has the Governor beat on that score.

Posted by: Thomas Johnson on January 15, 2009 9:37 AM
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