Friday, December 04, 2009

Shocker: Bill White is Running for Governor

Well I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you. Bill White is abandoning his plans to run for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s non-empty seat in the Senate and is instead throwing his hat in the ring to vie for the Democratic nomination in next March’s gubernatorial primary.

Well, not really.

The shocker would be that he would opt to continue his senatorial campaign, which is like that bridge in Alaska: a campaign to nowhere.

Here is the email message he sent out to his mailing list today:

I want to work for you as the next Governor of Texas.

I am proud of our state, and want us to move forward as America's great state of opportunity. I'll be a Governor who challenges Texans to lead, not leave, the United States.

At our best, we nurture innovation and opportunity, with businesses small and large. At our best we take advantage of all our resources, including renewable energy, to create new jobs.

Our economy of tomorrow depends on improving educational achievement in K-12 grade levels, improving high school graduation rates, and reducing the costs of college.We cannot be the best if we're behind in the number of our citizens with a high school diploma. We cannot be the best with skyrocketing electric and insurance rates that squeeze the savings of Texas families. We cannot be the best as dead last in the
percentage of children with access to health insurance.

I don't have the polish of career politicians who have been running for office for decades. But as a businessman and Mayor, I know how to be accountable for results, not just rhetoric. I have a track record of bringing people together to get things done. Isn't that what Texas needs right now?

I won't forget where I came from. I grew up outside of San Antonio. My parents were teachers, my dad a disabled vet. They worked hard, taught Sunday school, and taught me Texas values. They dreamed that their kids could have more opportunities than they did. So do Texans today.

Join the team. Go to our website. You'll be part of a team that is not about me, not about one party, not about who should be doing what in Washington. Our campaign will be about us, the people of Texas, and moving Texas forward.

Fighting the politics of the past and special interests won't always be easy. Every Texan I meet is ready for our state to move forward. I hope you'll join me in my campaign for Governor.
Bill White is what I call a Tier 1 candidate. He has a credible warchest, name recognition (at least in the voter-rich Houston area) and a track record that will attract Democrats, Independents, and maybe not just a few disaffected Republicans who are sick of Rick Perry’s pandering to the far right.

Now it is going to be interesting to see what Hank Gilbert and John Sharp do. Well, actually that question is answered in part because the Gilbert campaign announced today that he was also shifting his campaign and is going to run for Agricultural Commissioner again.

This is a good match. Gilbert has the look, the smarts, and the cultural appeal of an Ag type guy. It helps that he is a retired high school Ag teacher, but mainly I was impressed with the way that he campaigned against the Trans-Texas Corridor when it was looking like an inevitability.

And I think Gilbert is somewhat miffed that Bill White has horned in on his turf because he has given Farouk Shami his endorsement, that despite a couple of hit pieces on Shami on his campaign website – hit pieces that are now gone from although at this writing you can still read it in cache.

Shami, the self-funded billionaire hair care products guy is probably in it for the long haul, but perhaps he ought to read up on recent Texas history, particularly the part about when Tony Sanchez thought he could buy his way into the governor’s mansion in 2002.

But we still haven’t heard what John Sharp will do. Sharp was set from the beginning for the senate seat. His website still has the “John Sharp for Senate” as its title and not something more generic like “John Sharp for Texas.”

The website hasn’t really been updated since November 17th.

I’m wondering, though, if Sharp, another well-funded Tier 1 candidate would consider running for Lieutenant Governor. What better way to sweep Republicans out of statewide office across the board than to have the Democratic slate filled with top notch candidates with name recognition and proper funding?

So who have I left out? Oh . . . Kinky. What is Kinky going to do?

Who cares?

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