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White House believes Hutchison won't run for governor

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.mywesttexas.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14552907&BRD=2288&PAG=461&dept_id=475626&rfi=6 GOP casts doubt on Hutchison s run for governor Bob Campbell
    Message 1 of 1 , May 19, 2005
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      GOP casts doubt on Hutchison's run for governor

      Bob Campbell
      Midland Reporter Telegram

      Republicans cast doubt over Hutchison's run for

      By Bob Campbell

      Staff Writer

      Rollicking speculation on the plans of U.S. Sen. Kay
      Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, got a recharge Wednesday
      with the circulation of a report the White House
      believes she won't oppose Gov. Rick Perry's
      re-election next year.

      Two prominent Midland Republicans voiced relief that
      Hutchison won't force them and others to choose
      between the two heavyweights who have enjoyed their
      mutual support in the past.

      However, Hutchison's campaign manager for whichever
      race she ends up in naysayed the U.S. News & World
      Report bulletin that said, "Senior Bush aides have
      concluded that Hutchison likely won't take on Perry in
      the (March) GOP primary.

      "Instead, they believe Hutchison will run for
      re-election to the Senate in 2006 and serve one more
      six-year term. She has been considering the governor's
      race, but White House insiders believe her Senate
      schedule is too packed to allow her enough time to

      "Also, GOP strategists believe her pro-choice position
      on abortion will mute conservative support."

      Former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell, D-Houston, defeated for
      re-election after congressional redistricting, is
      gearing up to seek the governorship, the magazine
      said, as is Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn,
      she indicated at the Odessa College commencement last

      Hutchison campaign manager Terry Sullivan of Austin
      said the senator won't announce her decision until
      sometime this summer -- after the state legislative
      session ends. "She will make her decision based on
      what's best for Texas," said Sullivan.

      Attributing the report's circulation to the Perry
      campaign, Sullivan said, "Sen. Hutchison has been a
      party activist for decades, pre-Ronald Reagan back in
      the 1970s. She feels very dedicated to Texas and the
      Republican Party.

      "She's focused on doing her job, serving Texas in the
      U.S. Senate. He (Perry) really needs to be focused on
      doing his. There are a lot of critical issues before
      them this session."

      Hutchison has expressed a desire to return home to
      raise her young son and daughter, the Houston
      Chronicle reported Wednesday.

      Midland oilman Clayton Williams, who said last month
      he strongly would support Perry if Hutchison opposed
      him, called the report "really good news for us
      Republicans" if true. "I'm delighted she will stay in
      Washington, where she has done a great job," said

      Referring to a Wednesday statement by Senate Majority
      Whip Mitch McConnell that Hutchison probably will be
      offered the Senate's No. 3 position next year,
      Williams said, "That just shows why it's important for
      her to stay.

      "She has developed seniority and respect and is a
      great asset to our party and our state. That was
      (Democrat) Lloyd Bentsen's seat, and we finally got
      two Republicans. It's very satisfying to me and Ernie
      Angelo and all of us who worked to build our party.

      "We don't need to have Republicans fighting each
      other. That's destructive to all the years we put into
      the party."

      McConnell, from Kentucky, said Hutchison will be
      offered the Senate Republican Conference chair when
      Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee retires.

      Angelo, a Midland petroleum engineer and former
      Republican national committeeman, said he also would
      back Perry over Hutchison if it came to that. "Rick
      Perry has been an excellent governor in all respects
      and deserves an opportunity to be re-elected without a
      primary," said Angelo.

      Crediting Perry for a key role in congressional
      redistricting that created the 11th District now
      represented by Midlander Mike Conaway, Angelo said a
      gubernatorial primary with Perry and Hutchison not
      only would be fractitious, it would be extremely
      expensive. "She has been an excellent senator, is in a
      position of leadership and has an opportunity to be
      even higher in the leadership ranks," he said.

      "It would cost a huge amount of money that could be
      much better spent in other places. I have been quite
      concerned about it, but I've been coming to the
      hopeful conclusion she wasn't going to run for
      governor. I think she has reviewed it and come to the
      same conclusion many of us have, that it's not the
      right thing for her to do."
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