Monday, November 23, 2009

Schieffer leaves Democratic field *update* And White joins

"He just couldn't put it together".

Word is that Democrat Tom Schieffer is quitting his bid for governor of Texas. Some Texas Democrats have never warmed to Schieffer because of his long-time ties to George W. Bush. Schieffer was a partner with Bush with the Texas Rangers. And as president, Bush appointed him ambassador of Australia and Japan. Schieffer's campaign has struggled winning money and support. It has scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference today. Ross Ramsey at Texas Tribune is reporting this morning that Schieffer will announce he's out and sources are confirming that's true. There's talk that Schieffer might consider switching to the lieutuenant governor's race, but no confirmation of that.

When our little Houston blogger confab had lunch with Tom back in August, I was impressed with him to a degree but skeptical, like many, of his close personal relationship with 43. Schieffer had collected many endorsements from Texas legislators, so those cards are back on the table.

Could Schieffer's exit herald another entry into the governor's race from the likes of Bill White or Ronnie Earle or Elliot Shapleigh? Time will tell.

Update: "Time", in this case, was something less than an hour ...

Fort Worth businessman Tom Schieffer is expected to drop out of the Texas governor's race later today, and Houston Mayor Bill White then will join the fray, according to a reliable source.

We now have a second reliable source telling us that White's switch to the governor's race will occur.

I was -- like White himself -- on record as saying this wasn't likely, so now we'll watch the speculation fly this afternoon, and in the days and weeks ahead.

Update II: From the TexTrib's updated story ...

Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie called a meeting of the gubernatorial candidates — no staff allowed — for this afternoon in Dallas. Speculation in the campaigns is that he's trying to clear the path for White, and perhaps to talk the candidates into other statewide races where no Democrats have declared. They've been told only that he wants to outline what the Democratic Party can do for them, to ask them not to cut each other up too badly in a primary, and to ask them to support the nominee, whomever that turns out to be.

Update III: Shapleigh endorses White.

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