Friday, December 04, 2009

White in for governor (and other filing news)

Even though he still hasn't said so himself (that is to be tonight, downtown), the Chron says Bill White is a candidate for governor:

Mayor Bill White will formally enter the race for governor today, instantly becoming the Democrats' best hope of winning a statewide office in seven years.

White, a three-term mayor who is balding and known for something of a bland personality, is expected use self-deprecating humor to tell a Hilton Americas crowd of supporters that he knows he is not a “perfect candidate” but is someone who can get things done.

Hank Gilbert will have a statement today at noon...

Gilbert's campaign says he will conduct "a virtual press conference with Texas media to address his status in the race for Governor of Texas." The Democrat's staff sent the notice out at midnight, offering no clues as to what's going on. Other Democrats have been talking (constantly) about the shape of the party's ticket if White's in the race for governor. Gilbert, who ran four years ago for Agriculture Commissioner, could stay put, get out, or move into another statewide race. The most likely landing spot? Probably land commissioner, or another run at agriculture.

I think that lieutenant governor is equally likely, but I have no inside information; just playing a hunch. With all of the policy work Gilbert and his campaign have done, I would hate to see that go by the wayside. So I am hoping this man will aim high. Whatever he decides to do, Hank Gilbert will have my unqualified support. In my book he would be as valuable to Texans if elected to serve in any capacity as my friend David Van Os.

Yesterday -- the first day for candidates to file for the March 2010 primary -- brought Rick Perry in along with a gaggle of other Republicans. On the good guys' side, first to file were Barbara Ann Radnofsky (attorney general), Jeff Weems (Texas Railroad Commission, against Republican incumbent Victor Carrillo, presuming his surgery for a benign brain tumor last month does not preclude him from running for re-election), and Bill Burton (Commissioner of the General Land Office). Two more unknowns also filed for governor:

Dr. Alma Aguado, a San Antonio physician, says she's switching from the U.S. Senate race to the race for governor — still running as a Democrat. She's got a federal campaign account going — it had a $750 balance at the end of September — but hasn't run a state report yet. That filing isn't due until next month. William Corwin Dear, a private investigator from Mt. Calm, filed to run for governor, too.

The Texas Tribune has all this news and good explanations ...

It's also possible for candidates to move once they've filed. They can change races, pull out, you name it. It's a one-month biennial festival of political ambition, bluffing, chicanery, and rumor. It culminates when the doors close on January 4th and the parties stop accepting filings, and there's almost always something expected at the deadline.

Candidates file with the state parties if they're running a race in a district that crosses county lines. Statewide races cross all of them. But lots of urban and suburban candidates have districts that don't cross the lines; they can file in their county party offices. The state parties put the filings on the Internet; local offices have varied levels of skill. So the lists we've got are incomplete, because not all of those local parties have distributed the information.

The Republican Party of Texas lists its candidate filings here. The Texas Democratic Party's list is here. We'll add links for other counties, and to a comprehensive list we'll compile from those, when they open the spigots.

This reporting is what the Trib folks should really do well, and I look forward to their extensive coverage.

Finally, this off-the-wall speculation from Gardner Selby about Grandma Carole Many Names ...

I kiddingly speculated some time ago that I wouldn’t be surprised if Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the 70-year-old former Austin mayor twice elected as state comptroller, ran next year as a Democrat for governor.

That no longer looks even remotely likely with Houston Mayor Bill White poised to join the gubernatorial field.

But maybe she’s looking at another statewide office.

White, expected to say Friday that he’s shifting his political sights from the U.S. Senate to the Democratic nod for governor, confirmed Thursday that Strayhorn has tried to reach him.

Asked if he’d welcome Strayhorn to the Democratic ticket as, say, a candidate for her former office of state comptroller, White weaved. (The only Democratic figure otherwise believed to be eyeing the state comptroller slot: former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson.)

Take a pass, Grandma.

No comments: