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BREAKING: Bill White to Run for Governor

by: Matt Glazer

Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:59 AM CST

The rumors have been swirling that Tom Schieffer's withdraw from the Democratic gubernatorial race was an indication Houston Mayor Bill White will run for a 2010 statewide office.

Multiple sources, a Houston Chronicle story and a conference call later, and Texas Democrats have confirmation.  Bill White is running for Governor.

According to close friends, on a conference call with House Democrats, Tom Schieffer said he will not run for office and will be supporting Bill White. White will have an official statement at 3pm.

This move will put White as an immediate front runner in the race and leaves John Sharp as the sole Democrat in the U.S. Senate race.

More news as the story develops...

With the announcement that Kay Bailey Hutchison will not resign her Senate seat and run for office, the political calculus of the Texas Governor's race has changed dramatically in the last week and a half. Rick Perry, despite his strength in the Republican primary, is still extremely vulnerable in a general election, especially against a well-funded opponent, which White figures to be.

Texas Democrats, buckle up. This is about to get very interesting, very fast.


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Hank Gilbert should run for Land Commissioner (4.00 / 4)
Hank got in the race to give Democrats a credible choice. We have that in Bill White. Hank should run for another office with a seat on the Legislative Redistricting Board, and switch to Land Commissioner.

Hank is a credible, progressive, solid candidate with strong ideas for Texas. He would be a great statewide official in these trying times. He should switch over to Land Commissioner and keep campaigning in hat and jeans through Nov. 2010.

I'm not a player, I just Tweet a lot: @KathTX

I like this idea (3.00 / 1)
Leibowitz says Hank is staying the course, but I like him on the farm team for now. Get him in office and in the news for a few years and I think he can be a much stronger contender down the road.

[ Parent ]
Boyd Richie's calling a meeting in Dallas this afternoon (5.00 / 1)
Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie called a meeting of the gubernatorial candidates - no staff allowed - for this afternoon in Dallas. Speculation in the campaigns is that he's trying to clear the path for White, and perhaps to talk the candidates into other statewide races where no Democrats have declared. They've been told only that he wants to outline what the Democratic Party can do for them, to ask them not to cut each other up too badly in a primary, and to ask them to support the nominee, whomever that turns out to be.


Afflicting the comfortable via...

Gov. Candidate Meeting (0.00 / 0)
Richie's meeting was already scheduled...far in advance of today's announcement. I think I heard about it early last week. Each candidate is going to make a case for why they're better and try to convince the others to look at different seats.

Either way, I think we're better off with White as our nominee.  

[ Parent ]
I would rather see a contested primary for the good of the party (0.00 / 0)
I don't understand why people always want paths cleared. I like Bill white and I'm thrilled if he runs. But primary contests build organizations and gather momentum and interest.

There's not enough oxygen (0.00 / 0)
for two primary races.

All the focus is going to be on the republican thunderdome battle.

[ Parent ]
Hey, you'll still get Kinky (3.00 / 1)
I highly doubt Kinky Friedman will drop out.  In fact, I'd be shocked.

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."  -  John Adams

[ Parent ]
Now there are two jokes running... (1.00 / 6)
Now there are two jokes running. Kinky Friedman and Bill White. Despite the denials and then admissions and then denials reality is Bill White is leaving an economic time bomb behind which will become Annise Parker's legacy, fitting since she helped create it, and if he becomes the candidate, the Republicans will use that as the number one campaign issue. That and quite a few other things.

would be surprised if true (0.00 / 0)
as recently as this morning, white's campaign was still saying the rumors are "not true".  not exactly the nuanced "denial" you hear from people who have decided but not announced a decision (like hillary running for president answering the "will you serve your full term").

and it seems as though white himself has been emphatic that he is running for senate, no matter what. i think it would be difficult to backpedal entirely on months of strongly worded statements. could raise credibility/opportunism accusations should he manage to get to the general.

furthermore, it would make sense for white to look at a primary with 4 folks with no money and see an opportunity, but with shami in the race it would become a very expensive gamble and i'm not certain about the FEC rules for re-raising from capped individuals if he got back in the senate race at any point in the future. his money would have to be refunded entirely, the committee dissolved as though it never happened.  i don't think that a simple transfer to a state committee un-rings the bell in terms of caps.

matt is right, this is going to get fun.

i repeat my belief that a spirited primary is good for our party. i can't wait for the last 90 days (which by the way starts Dec. 1).

Please refer to KT's signature.

forget "fun" - let's get it done. (3.67 / 3)
My hope is that the wrangling going on leads us towards, and not away from a defeat of Rick Perry, and whomever from the TX-GOP runs for AG. I don't think I have the stamina to keep fighting these secessionists past 2010.

[ Parent ]
Bill White has lessened his tone (0.00 / 0)
In the Friday interview with Evan Smith, when asked "are you sure?" he said, "no."

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."  -  John Adams

[ Parent ]
No one is "clearing the path" (5.00 / 2)
Having been at the Party during a period of hotly contested primaries between well-known Democratic candidates, I can assure you that a Party Chair doesn't "clear the path" for anyone - that is all about candidate calculus. However, it's important for the Chair to maintain an open conversation with our candidates about what the Party offers them during the primary and how the conduct of the primary can impact the ability of our nominees to play a responsible and constructive role in a winning general election effort.

I think what most of us want is a complete Democratic ticket that's a winner in November, 2010. Fact is, that's really all that matters to the people that aren't insiders - the folks who need better schools, a good job, health care, and a healthy environment. Simply put, if we want progress, we have to win - especially with redistricting up in 2011.

that is yet to be determined (0.00 / 0)
when everyone gets out of the meeting with boyd, we'll know.

there have been elections in the past where party chairs have brokered switches (2002). it is yet to be determined if that is the case today or not.

but the rest of your post i agree with entirely.  this is a very important cycle.

Please refer to KT's signature.

[ Parent ]
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