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Handicapping a Hutchison Successor

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/10/handicapping_a_hutchison_succe.html Handicapping a Hutchison Successor By CQ Staff | 9:07 PM; Oct. 21, 2007 | By Jonathan
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 23, 2007
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      http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/10/handicapping_a_hutchison_succe.html

      Handicapping a Hutchison Successor
      By CQ Staff | 9:07 PM; Oct. 21, 2007 |

      By Jonathan Allen, CQ Staff

      When Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
      signaled last week that she might leave her seat early
      to run for governor in 2010, Texas House Republicans
      didn’t exactly whoop and holler. It’s not that they
      don’t like the idea of Hutchison in the statehouse;
      rather, they’re reluctant to see incumbent Gov. Rick
      Perry — who has a distinctly chilly relationship with
      the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation — name
      a successor to fill out Hutchison’s term before a
      special election is scheduled.

      “Whoever got that appointment would get an advantage
      to keep that seat,” says GOP Rep. Randy Neugebauer .
      And it’s unlikely indeed that Perry would grace any
      Texas lawmakers in Washington with that advantage.
      “He’s not particularly close to anyone up here,” says
      one Texas GOP lawmaker who asked not to be identified.

      Still, Hutchison, who told Texas Monthly editor Evan
      Smith that she might bid adieu to the Capitol as early
      as 2009, knows better than anyone that a Senate
      appointment is no guarantee of a victory in the
      ensuing special election. She won her seat in a 1993
      special by beating Democrat Robert Kreuger, who had
      been appointed to fill the vacancy created when Lloyd
      Bentsen took the helm of the Treasury Department.

      Observers of Texas politics are already speculating
      about likely GOP aspirants to the seat, including
      former Rep. Henry Bonilla and current Reps. Pete
      Sessions, Jeb Hensarling and Kay Granger . But it’s
      tough for any individual member of Texas’ 32-seat
      House delegation to build statewide name recognition.
      And in all likelihood, some well-established brands in
      GOP state politics, such as sitting Lt. Gov. David
      Dewhurst, will likely join the fray. “There will be a
      free-for-all for her seat,” says Rep. Kevin Brady.

      Meanwhile, there’s also the prospect that Hutchison
      will keep her Senate seat over the course of the
      gubernatorial race and name her own successor — as
      former New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine did in his
      successful 2005 run for the Garden State governorship.
      House Republicans are betting — or at least hoping —
      that will keep her from resigning.

      “I don’t think she does” resign, Brady says.

      This story originally appeared in CQ Today.
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