Friday, November 13, 2009

Kay Bailey now says she'll sit tight until after primary

From Quorum Report this afternoon, Kay Bailey has announced she will not resign from the Senate until after the March 2010 primary.

In a written statement, KBH said: "These issues are too important to leave the fight to a newly appointed freshman senator“A newly appointed senator would be selected in the midst of a political storm. And will need on-the-job training in the midst of a crisis.”

“I know that keeping my Senate responsibilities while running for governor may not be the best thing for my campaign,” Hutchison said. “Some have told me that for the sake of political expedience I should quit the Senate now to focus on winning the primary. To them I say, perhaps it's time we elect a governor who puts a little less priority on what is politically expedient.”

Governor Perry's campaign responded, "We appreciate that Senator Hutchison has taken the governor's advice and finally decided to make a decision to stay in Washington. Hopefully this will allow her to be a full-time senator for the people of Texas."

Exactly one month ago, when she was asked if she intended to stay through the primary, she said: ""Well, a lot of people are suggesting that. That’s not what I want to do. That’s not what I intend to do but... right now I want to just see what comes next. ..."

RG Ratcliffe excerpts remarks she plans to give in Galveston tomorrow:

I am more determined than ever to become the 48th Governor of the great state of Texas. But at the same time I must put what's best for my campaign aside and do what is best for our state. That is why I must stay in the Senate while running for the Republican nomination for Governor.

Assuming the senator means what she says this time, all the players lined up behind her are now frozen in place. That should also squelch the rumors of people switching races ...

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's announcement that she will retain her Senate seat through next March's GOP primary led to renewed speculation that Houston Mayor Bill White would drop his own Senate bid to jump into the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

But White spokeswoman Katy Bacon said that will not happen.

"A resignation in March would still mean a May special election, and Bill is running for the United States Senate," Bacon said.

Update: More from the TexTrib...

"She will resign the Senate when the cap-and-trade and health care debates are over," said spokesman Joe Pounder. He said she will resign at that point even if she loses the primary for governor. Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate have said they think the debate on health care will come in January.

The filing deadline for next year's elections is January 4. Waiting until after that date effectively forces everyone else on the ballot to run as if the dominoes won't fall.

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