The AP's Jay Root first reported that Kay Bailey Hutchison will not resign until after the March primary.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is challenging Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary, plans to announce Saturday that she won't resign her Senate seat until after the March primaries are over.
Campaign officials provided The Associated Press a copy of her prepared speech to Republican women in Galveston on Saturday.
In it, Hutchison will say she is stepping down in 2010 regardless of who wins the Republican primary for govenor.
But she says there are too many important issues facing Congress for her to quit this fall as she had planned.
The senator says in the written speech that she “will be resigning this Senate seat” next year. “Make no mistake, this is going to happen,” Hutchison plans to say.
Although this original report states that the announcement will come in Hutchison's speech tomorrow, the Texas Tribune reports that she already “began calling other Republicans Friday afternoon to tell them to make other plans.”
This obviously changes the dynamics of the Gubernatorial race. It changes the way she will campaign, as it will be shrouded in a sort of cowardliness. There is also a very good chance it will push Bill White and/or John Sharp into the race for Governor, even if she plans on resigning no matter the outcome of the primary. I don't think her word on resignation can really be trusted anymore.
We will keep you updated as we get more info.
UPDATE: Both the Sharp camp and the White camp reiterate that they are still running for Senate.
John Sharp stated, “I said when I got into this process last December that I would be a candidate when the seat becomes available, whether that is in 2012 or anytime before then. I'm campaigning full time and will continue to.”
White spokeswoman Katy Bacon gave me the blunt statement, “Bill is running for the U.S. Senate regardless of when this election takes place.”
I prodded, and Katy insisted that yes, that even means 2012.
Also, according to the Statesman, Senator Hutchison will state in her speech that not only is she waiting for the Health Care fight to end but also for Cap and Trade to conclude.
UPDATE 2: Via an @TexasTribune tweet, we learn that a Hutchison campaign spokesperson said, “I never envision a situation where she would lose the GOP primary.”
I responded by laughing, because this campaign surely has been quite jokey so far. If she does pull of a surprise to come back and beat Perry, though, she might face Hank Gilbert or Tom Schieffer.
Gilbert's website, The Scoop quickly had a comment on this news:
Naturally, Kay's Magic 8 Ball was predicting this (and many other things) weeks ago.
Hutchison wants to have it both ways. This will cause a lot of issues in the overall Republican field-and could create a lot more contested primaries up and down the ballot.
When asked, Tom Schieffer's campaign declined to comment.
UPDATE 3: For a direct quote from Hank Gilbert, here is his statement:
Anyone who says they are shocked by her announcement hasn't followed the lengthy trail of broken promises she's left in her wake, starting with her promise to serve only two terms. She is an unreliable and undependable public servant who dodges and weaves as it suits her political ambitions. Senator Hutchison has left her supporters and contributors holding the bag.