Is David Dewhurst ditching his Senate bid to run for governor?
For a couple years now, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has stood atop the list of potential successors to Kay Bailey Hutchison. Any discussion of an open Senate seat has included a mention of Dewhurst's frontrunner status. The lieutenant governor certainly has signaled an interest in the job. But suddenly, Dewhurst himself is saying that he may in fact be eyeing a different post.
In an interview with KXAN in Austin, Dewhurst suggested that perhaps governor might be a more desirable gig. He said:
"I need to make a decision in June whether I'm going to run for the U.S. Senate in 2012 or stay right where I am and run for governor in 2014 ..."
That no doubt comes as news to the long line of state officials already expressing an interest in running for lieutenant governor -- their early announcements suggest that they're expecting a race in 2012, not 2014.
But as Paul Burka notes on his Texas Monthly blog , Dewhurst is also sending an intriguing message to the guy who happens to be governor. Despite all the speculation about Rick Perry's national aspirations, there are plenty of scenarios that would leave Perry still sitting in Austin three years from now. And if he doesn't land on a winning ticket, I'm not sure you could ever rule out the possibility that Perry would run yet AGAIN for guv.
Would Dewhurst run against Perry? That's a fascinating prospect. Right now, this is all far-out speculation. But if Dewhurst announces his intentions in June, a whole new political landscape could start to come into focus pretty quickly.