Friday, January 16, 2009

A Rush To Fill Hutchison's U.S. Senate Seat

Updated 01/16/09 at 10:00 AM

Talking Points Memo (01/15/09) - GOP Surprisingly Nervous About Texas Senate Seat -
Do Republicans think they could actually lose a seat in Texas, of all places? One Texas Republican source seemed surprisingly concerned, telling Election Central that the state Dems are "going through a bit of a renaissance," and have two decent candidates lined up for the eventual Senate race in Houston Mayor Bill White and former Comptroller John Sharp. "If Sharp and Bill White come back, there will be national Democratic Party money put back in Texas, and I think Republicans are gonna have to be on their A-game," the source said. Another on the record source, Mike Baselice, a local Republican pollster who works for GOP Gov. Rick Perry, told TPM, Democrats would have a low probability of winning a special election for the Senate.
The (01/15/09) - Removing some doubt about her intentions to run for governor,
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has transferred nearly her entire federal campaign account to her gubernatorial exploratory committee. Hutchison’s first filing with Texas elections officials shows that the senator had transferred just shy of $8 million from her Senate account to her statewide account.
Fearful that a special election for U.S. Senate could result in a Democratic victory, Congressional Republicans appear to be pressuring U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison not to resign unless and until she is elected governor. Republican insiders are increasingly indicating Hutchison will not resign at all if she is unsuccessful in her bid for the Governor's office.

Under Texas law, Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, would appoint a short-term replacement for Hutchison until a special election can be held. If Hutchison doesn't resign until shortly before the 2010 election, the special election for her open Senate seat could be held concurrently with the November 2010 general election, ensuring maximum turnout - a likely benefit for any Republican senatorial candidate. A special election would likely be held in November 2009 if Hutchison resigns before September 28, 2009. If she resigns later in 2009, the special election wouldn’t be held until May 2010.
If Hutchison doesn't resign until after the November 2010 general election the special election for her open Senate seat wouldn’t be held until May 2011.

There are now six people in the race for Kay Bailey Hutchison's U.S. Senate seat with at least five (or six) more believed to be considering throwing their hat in the ring too. And, speculation on U.S. Senator John Cornyn's comments in Roll Call suggests Attorney General Greg Abbott, one of the next five, may be throwing his hat in sooner rather than later.

Candidates: (Left to right) Houston Mayor Bill White (D), former State Comptroller John Sharp (D), Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams (R), State Sen. Florence Shapiro (R), former Secretary of State Roger Williams (R) and Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones (R)
Bill white senate John sharp senate 2 Michael williams senate
Florence shapiro
Roger williams senate Elizabeth ames jones senate

Potential Candidates: (Left to right) Rep. Kay Granger (R), Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), US Rep. Joe Barton (R), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R), Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) and TX State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio)
Kay granger senate
David dewhurst senate Joe barton senate
Jeb hensarling
Greg abbott senate

Pictures from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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