Clip: Kinky Friedman for governor
- Speaking of Texas...
Gov. Kinky -- the Next Leader of Texas?
Tue Jan 18, 2005 04:17 PM ET
By Jon Herskovitz
DALLAS (Reuters) - Kinky Friedman, the best-selling author, country singer
and friend of the stray dog, next week will officially toss his ten-gallon
hat into the ring for the 2006 Texas governor's race, his campaign said on
Friedman will announce his bid to run as an independent on Feb. 3 near the
Alamo from a hotel where former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt founded the
Friedman, frontman for the group "The Texas Jewboys," is known for songs
such as "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed" and
writing books including "Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned."
The humorist however, is deadly serious about his campaign to unseat
current Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who succeeded President Bush.
"I have achieved a lot of my dreams in life and I want to see that young
Texans achieve some of theirs,' Friedman said in a telephone interview. He
added, "I want to be governor because I need the closet space."
Friedman said the main priorities in his campaign will be reforming the
Texas education system, adding safeguards in the judicial process where
Texas ranks as the nation's leader in capital punishment and establishing a
peace corps for the state.
Plus, he wants "to fight the wussification of Texas."
"I am determined to get back to a time when the cowboys all sang and their
horses were smart," Friedman said.
Friedman would like to borrow a page or two from the campaign books of
other celebrity candidates such as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
and Jesse Ventura, the former pro wrestler who ran as an independent to
become governor of Minnesota.
Political observers said the Friedman campaign will be entertaining, but it
will be hard for an independent to win in Texas, where every major
statewide office is held by a Republican.
"The real race will be within the Republican primary," said Sherri
Greenberg, a former Texas legislator who now teaches at the University of
Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.
The Republican primary for governor of Texas is shaping up be a bruising
affair. Likely candidate Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn has been
firing shots at incumbent Perry for several years and U.S. Senator Kay
Bailey Hutchison may also take on Perry in the primary.
Friedman has said he expects his campaign to be unconventional, irreverent
and star-studded. He knows it will be tough to win in the heavily
Republican state, but he thinks he can win votes from people fed up with
"We hope the people of Texas are going to reject the choice of paper or
plastic," he said.