TX-Sen: Direct Quote of White Saying There Will be a Special Election

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Looks like we've caused what several newspaper outlets have called a “stir” with our posts about the he said / she said between Houston mayor and U.S. Senate contender Bill White and current U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Before reviewing the past, let's get right to the new information:

Yesterday morning, Bill White appeared on Texas Public Radio. (Learn more about the program here). White talked with host David Davies, an esteemed and award-winning journalist, about Houston's success of renewable and clean energy, what it's like being the Mayor of the fourth largest city in the country, and the challenge be being elected statewide as a Democrat. They then had this exchange:

David Davies: Do you think to have ot run in a special election for the U.S. Senate? Do you think Senator Hutchison will eventually have to step down to run for Governor? Or do you think you'll have to wait for the election cycle?

Bill White: Senator Hutchison had told me and has told others that she intends to resign in circumstances creating a special election. We think that is likely to be in the spring of 2010, and that's what we're preparing for. And I want to tell you, Dave, the reception across this state has been incredible. People are ready for something new, they want a Senator that they can be proud of, they want somebody who can represent Texas and not be a rubber-stamp for anybody.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here. I didn't want to excerpt the click directly, but I took a screen snapshot of where the above exchange begins in the interview and posted a picture of it here (I really look out for you all, I really do).

As Katy Bacon, White's spokeswoman, said yesterday — this is nothing new. White has said these remarks repeatedly, including, as R.G. Ratcliffe pointed out in his post to the Houston Chronicle blog, in a fundraising letter back in February:

Well, I didn't put it in the “press” version, but we say White was alluding to this in a Texas Politics posting back in February:

“Senator Hutchison has said that she will resign her Senate seat, before her term ends, in circumstances creating a Special Election,” said a White fund-raising letter.

It's not as blunt as the statement from Fort Worth, but it drives in the same direction.

We now have a “blunter” statement from White — which directly contradicts with what the Hutchison campaign is saying:

Bill White (above): “Senator Hutchison had told me and has told others that she intends to resign in circumstances creating a special election.”

Hutchison campaign: “Senator Hutchison has said she will not seek re-election and may resign her seat at a later date.”

The Hutchison campaign is still trying to alude to some idea that she won't run for another U.S. Senate term, but could stay in the Senate and serve the remainder of her term — which is through 2012 — should she lose in the primary (which she is almost certainly going to do if they can't even handle a rumor from a blog correctly, as one of our commenters pointed out).

But clearly, there's discrepency. White's campaign is being straight-up and honest — and again, I give them great credit for that. Hutchison, though, is still hiding, trying to have everything her way, and not wanting to jump into the adult pool like everyone else.

She can't swim in the pee-filled kiddie pool and expect to win a real race in Texas politics. She just can't. But that's what her plan is, apparently. No will, no action — just cowardice.

It's also important to note that any special elections would be in May or November — not, as one paper said, in March.

For the sake of keeping records, here's a link to the coverage the BOR story got in yesterday's press:

We can't imagine there will be anything more on this story unless/until Hutchison grows a backbone or decides to share more insider information with Democrats. But, should anything happen, we will continue to keep you posted.


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 Comment

  1. Test of Leadership
    What we have here is a test of leadership.

    You have one leader stepping forward and being honest and forthright with Texas about their intentions and their campaign.

    On the other hand you have a supposed leader hiding in Washington DC spinning their wheels because they are losing traction with their non-existant campaign for governor every single day.

    Do we want a real, honest, and forthright leader?  Or do we want a leader who hides, spins, and lacks the Will to campaign for your vote?  

    Pretty easy decision if you ask me.


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