[Guest post by DRJ]
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is running in a tough primary fight with incumbent Rick Perry for Governor of Texas. Voting is March 2, Texas Independence Day, and the most recent poll shows Perry leads Hutchison 48%-27% with Debra Medina at 17%. There will be a run-off of the top 2 candidates if no candidate gets 50% of the vote.
Hutchison has been interested in running for Governor for some time. She was neck-and-neck with Perry in 2003 polls and led by as much as 25 points early last year, but what a difference a year makes. The conservative backlash from Obama’s first year hasn’t helped the moderate-by-Texas-standards Hutchison as she’s dealt with unpopular issues like the Stimulus and bailouts.
Hutchison’s current Senate term ends in 2012 and Perry even capitalized on Hutchison’s indecision regarding when she would announce her retirement from the Senate and how much a special election would cost. Most expected her to resign last Fall but the Senate’s importance in the health care debate altered that plan. (She ended up not resigning so she could serve out her Senate term if she loses the gubernatorial primary. However, she recently said she plans to move on to a new career after the primary, win or lose.)
This probably doesn’t interest most people outside of Texas and there’s no reason it should, but now even Washington is treating Kay like the Rodney Dangerfield of politics. The House Press Gallery website has a “Casualty List” of retiring and deceased House and Senate members [at the link, click Casualty List in the left sidebar]. The Senate side includes this entry:
She’s been in Washington since 1993 and they can’t even spell her name.