BREAKING: Bill White to Run for Governor

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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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13 Comments

  1. Hank Gilbert should run for Land Commissioner
    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 like this idea
      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.

  2. I would rather see a contested primary for the good of the party
    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.

  3. Now there are two jokes running…
    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.

  4. would be surprised if true
    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).

  5. No one is “clearing the path”
    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
      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.

  6. Gov. Candidate Meeting
    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.  

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