Kay Bailey Hutchison Not to Resign Until After March Primary

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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.

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  1. This hurts her big-time.
    Harder to campaign, harder to convince voters you're committed to Texas. Also makes me think she thinks she's going to lose, and if the voting public thinks that way, then they're not really all the more likely to vote for you, now are they?

  2. KBH is done, Sharp and/or White will have to wait until 2012
    The thought of a good and expensive Republican bloodletting had me thinking of maybe voting for Medina in the primary and KBH in the runoff. No chance of forcing a runoff now in the Republican primary or beating 39% in a primary.

    That said, maybe White and Sharp should flip a coin and loser/winner (let them decide) runs for Governor. The chances of beating the re-election campaigns of Abbott, Dewhurst and Combs are are nil to none. A head to head win over 39% and gaining more/keeping Texas House seats is the best that can be done now.

    I am planning on contributing to Representatives Bolton, Howard, and Maldondo in the near future. Leaning toward Hank Gilbert in the Governor's race but not ready to take the plunge while the big boys are still posturing over a possible US Senate race that's not going to happen. In my mind, either get elected Governor or lose and be the front runner for the Democratic nomination for US Senate in 2012 would be my choice if I where either Sharp or White. That assumes that both of them rejects the coin flip option I mentioned earlier.

      • haha!
        As if she is to be believed at this point, anyways.  And still, it could be all the way until late 2010 even if she keeps her word — like November 2010, which would make for a 2011 election.  I mean, she now wants to wait until the Senate is done with Cap and Trade — I'm not even convinced the Senate will bring it up until after the midterms; it won't be good politically.

      • oh, kt!
        you rascal, you.

        kay baby ain't going nowhere.

        she has become the queen of excuses and equivocations.

        she's no more leaving the senate than the man in the moon.

        you don't really believe she'll give perry the option and the pleasure of appointing her replacement after he mops the floor with her ass in march, do you?

  3. Suggestions for new BOR online poll
    Do you really think KBH will resign after losing to 39% in the 2010 Republican Primary?

    An alternative question would be since Sharp just barely lost his race for Lt. Governor in 1998 to Perry, is it his responsibility to take 39% down in 2010. We know in an Aggie on Aggie situation, Sharp is nearly an even match up for 39%. He got 48% in 1998 against Perry's George Bush coattails and 46% in 2002 against Dewhurst's personal fortune, both times Sharp was running for Lt. Governor.

    If I was handicapping race horses based on past performances, I would call Sharp vs Perry in 2010 as a 50/50 deal in a Governors race. In a special election for US Senate (which is not going to happen), I would call Dewhurst over Sharp, assuming Sharp could figure out how to beat out White to get to a runoff spot with Dewhurst.  

  4. another huge mistake
    perry is a walking disaster. likely suffering some level of mental illness/instability. i'm not joking.

    kay baby has screwed this pooch from day 1.

    this is another huge mistake. she should have gotten out in march, forced perry to make a tough choice, created chaos and motivate tens of thousands of soft repubs to the primary.

    you can't have it both ways and she has tried to have it every way.  i don't believe for an instant that she can drive a meaningful thematic over the next 90 days.

    best case scenario she would have said “i'm frustrated with the inability of DC to solve Texas problems.  if we wait on obama and pelosi, we'll be waiting forever”…come home, hit the road, won the hand-to-hand combat and pushed perry back to the middle on big issues(alienating his base support)and driven home “we've ridden this horse as far as we can take us”. she didn't.

    the best news for Texas Democrats in years: perry will be on the ballot in November.

    broken record time: if we run a modern, professional coordinated campaign we can win multiple statewide offices in november 10.

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