TX-Sen: Did Hutchison Make Promise to Set Up May '10 Elections Months Ago?

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Yesterday, Todd sent us this interesting tidbit about what Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison told Democrat Bill White about her resigning to run for Governor:

Was just at a Bill White meet and greet in Tarrant County. He said that Hutchison has assured him that she'll resign in a fashion that will lead to a May 2010 special election. She'll likely resign after Houston elections in November.

Since we posted that tidbit, myself and one other writer on Burnt Orange Report have been told, by several sources, that White has been sharing this information privately from as early as January — though no one on staff can remember reading about it in the press until now, and I certainly didn't know about this at all until I got the e-mail from Todd.

That makes the questions I raised yesterday a little more interesting — how long has Hutchison actually been planning to step down and set up a May 2010 special election for her seat? Does she actually have a plan? Bbecause it sure doesn't look like it — Robot Perry is still outperforming her in pretty much every way possible.

We'll see what happens. But it looks like KBH may have made this “assurance” as early as January, which means she's got more up her sleeve than she's telling the public. Hiding from her constituents by not publicly admitting she's said she'll resign…hiding in Washington D.C. instead of campaigning in Texas.

I think you know what this means:


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Note from Bill White for Texas team
    What Bill said yesterday wasn't anything new. Senator Hutchison has said to Bill and others that she intends to resign in circumstances that will create a special election. She can address questions related to timing. From time to time she's talked about it with the press. Texas law allows for special elections in May and November.

    • Thanks for the note
      For us, on a slow Friday, we'll take anything said publicly as news — especially when KBH is slipping in the polls. Hopefully some capitol reporters can follow up with her and try to get her to stop hiding a plan she's clearly laid out.

      If she wants to run for a race, then she should run. If she doesn't, then she shouldn't. But this cowardly fence-sitting has got to stop, one way or the other.

      Glad we've got some great Democrats (like White) that are staying smart and keeping up the pressure. Keep up the great work, Katy!

    • Is This The Telephone Game?
      Be careful about what is lost on translation, BOR. I've heard Bill speak and he has said that he suspects that Kay will not resign in time to force a November election (which given the Houston municipal elections would greatly be to White's advantage) and would probably force a May election.

      The fact that the Mayor of the largest city and the senior senator talk is reassuring, not conspiratorial. They are both pragmatists and share some of the same moderate supporters I believe, especially in Houston. (And by moderate supporters I mean people that don't wake up every day thinking about prayer, stem cells and abortion but rather, education and the economy.

      • Who said it was conspiratorial?
        White clearly isn't hiding anything — he's out there talking about it.

        Hutchison is the one who is playing coy with the press.

  2. KBH did the same thing in 2006
    I volunteered for Barbara Radnofsky in 2006 for the U.S. Senate seat.  At the time KBH said she'd resign from the Senate to run for governor and then she backed out.

    It seems to me that Senator Hutchison enjoys playing games.

    In either case I won't be voting for her period.  As a volunteer for BAR in 2006 I am acutely aware of KBH's track record in the Senate.  She will say one thing in Texas but votes the opposite in Washington.  Politicians seem to be under the impression that voters aren't paying attention.

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