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Endorsement watch: Statesman for White

Two for two.

If you’re driven by campaign-trail zingers, [Bill] White might not be your candidate. But a longer listen produces the inescapable conclusion that White is a thoughtful, experienced, unifying leader — just what Texas needs now. That’s why we are endorsing him to become Texas’ 48th governor.

There’s much to appreciate about White, both in his past public service and the direction he plans to lead our state if voters oust GOP Gov. Rick Perry on Nov. 2.

White’s résumé is as impressive as any Texas gubernatorial candidate has offered in many years. As a deputy secretary in the U.S. Energy Department in the Clinton administration, he ran a large federal agency. As a lawyer, he won respect as one of the state’s best. As a businessman, he lived through the ups and downs of the private sector — a valuable life experience many politicians lack.

And as Houston’s mayor for six years, White effectively led a diverse city, experience that would serve him well in dealing with state lawmakers and the daunting challenges they will face next year in budget and redistricting battles.


After 10 years as governor, it’s difficult to pinpoint a singular achievement for Perry. The Texas economy might be the nation’s best, but that’s largely a result of an approach in place before Perry took office in December 2000.

As governor, Dolph Briscoe was instrumental in creating Texas’ farm-to-market road network. Mark White’s education reforms continue to benefit the state. Bill Clements shook up the bureaucracy. Ann Richards showed the way for diversity in appointments.

Perry? There’s the ill-conceived Trans-Texas Corridor highway plan that upset so many before it died. There’s the HPV vaccination program that was a governmental overreach. And there’s a long list of vetoes that shows a disconnect with lawmakers. On the plus side, Perry appointed Eva Guzman as the first Hispanic female on the Texas Supreme Court. He’s also done well in promoting trade with Mexico.

But Perry, exhibits symptoms of entitlement, e.g., the $9,000-a-month rental house he’s been living in while the Governor’s Mansion has been unavailable and his refusal to debate White or appear outside of controlled and scripted environments. The title, governor, is governor, not emperor.

The Statesman, which joins the Chron in making this obvious choice, endorsed Perry in 2006. Good to see they won’t be repeating that mistake.

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