Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who's Running For Governor Now

Updated August 30,2008 @8:00PM
Kinky Friedman (right) will officially announce his candidacy for the Texas Governor's Office Tuesday, according to his campaign manager, Rania Batrice. Friedman reportedly will file to have his name listed on the March 2010 Democratic Party Primary Ballot. Friedman, who received 12 percent of the vote in 2006 when he ran as an Independent in the four way race for Governor against incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry, Democrat Chris Bell and Independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn, formed an exploratory committee last spring. Rick Perry won the 2006 election with about 38 percent of the vote.

Friedman will join a Democratic field that already includes Fort Worth schoolteacher Felix Alvarado, Whitehouse rancher Hank Gilbert, Fort Worth lawyer and former Ambassador Tom Schieffer and Garland therapist Mark Thompson.

Hank Gilbert addresses the 2006
Texas Democratic Convention as
Candidate for Agriculture Commissioner
According to the Capitol Annex, Hank Gilbert, age 49, (D-Whitehouse), the Democratic Party’s 2006 nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, has thrown his hat in the ring to run for the governor's office in 2010.

After losing his 2006 bid to become Agriculture Commissioner, Gilbert, a Tyler-area rancher, has used the last four years to work at the grass roots of Texas to fight against toll roads and other bad GOP policies such as the Trans-Texas Corridor, land use and energy issues.

Gilbert, who was the second highest vote-getting Democrat in the 2006 elections with his 42 percent of the vote against Republican Todd Staples for agriculture commissioner, has been effectively laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial campaign for the last 4 years organizing with independent, moderate, and even Republican voters at the rural community level.

Houston Chronicle [14 min. 55 sec.]
Listen to Houston Chronicle reporter R.G. Ratcliffe interview Hank Gilbert about his announcement.

A little-known Fort Worth resident Felix Alvarado announced on August 13, 2009 that he plans to run in the 2010 Democratic primary race for governor. Alvarado's name was removed from the 2006 Democratic primary field when his $3,750 check for the candidate filing fee was returned for insufficient funds.

Early in May Mark Thompson, 2008 Democratic candidate for Railroad Commissioner, announced he will run for Governor in 2010. (Picture right)

Thompson received 44.6 percent of the vote in 2008 when he ran against Republican incumbent Michael Williams for the Railroad Commission seat.

Thompson joined Tom Schieffer (left) and humorist Kinky Friedman as the line up for the Democratic primary ballot next March.

Long time Texas Democrat Tom Schieffer chose Texas Independence Day (March 2nd) to announce he was forming an "exploratory committee" for a possible bid for the governor's office. (website)

Tom Schieffer is a former State Representative, former partner in the Texas Rangers, brother to Face the Nation moderator Bob Schieffer, and Bush-era Ambassador to Australia and Japan.

Schieffer, a lifelong Democrat, did endorse G.W. Bush for the offices of both Governor and President, but he supported Barack Obama for the 2008 primary and general election, and he supported Democrat Chris Bell in the 2006 Governor's race. Schieffer argues that he can attract not only Democrats, but Independents and even moderate Republicans. Even so, many Democrats are not comfortable with Schieffer's support of G.W. Bush or his service in the Bush administration.
The Republican primary ballot position for governor is also getting a bit crowded. Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, pictured left, top the ballot position.

Next down the Republican primary ballot position for governor is Debra Medina. Medina is currently the Wharton County Republican Party Chair and stands to Perry's right on the political spectrum beside Rep. Bermen.

Medina describes herself as a tireless advocate of private property rights, gun ownership, individual responsibility and adherence to the Constitution. She has actively opposed big government, taxes, bailouts, mandatory vaccinations, the Trans Texas Corridor and abortion.

A likely side-effect of Bermen and Medina running in the Republican primary is that they will eat away votes from Perry's right-wing conservative base giving Hutchison the primary win.

The next gubernatorial candidate to the right of Perry is Larry Kilgore who says, “The US government must abolish the Federal Reserve and allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy. However, few of us believe this will occur. Therefore, we should research alternative scenarios and their implications for Texas.”

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