Hutchison says she'll resign from Senate this fall

R.G. Ratcliff:

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison told a Dallas radio station talk show host today that she will resign her Senate seat in either October or November.

Hutchison told host WBAP host Mark Davis that she would like to stay in office while running for governor, but she can't so long as Gov. Rick Perry remains in the contest.

When Davis asked Hutchison if she would stay in office while running, she replied, “I just can't — as long as Governor Perry stays in the race…”

Hutchison said her formal announcement for governor will occur next month.

“Well I'm going to announce in August. Formal announcement: I am in. Then the actual leaving of the Senate will be sometime — October, November — that, in that time frame,” she said.

That statement is likely to open a floodgate politically.

There already is a crowd of politicians looking at running for Hutchison's Senate seat, including Houston Mayor Bill White and former Comptroller John Sharp as Democrats, and among the Republicans there are Railroad Commissioners Elizabeth Ames Jones, Michael Williams, state Sen. Florence Shaprio and former Secretary of State Roger Williams.

But if Perry names Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as Hutchison's interim replacement, that also likely opens up the attorney general's office as incumbent Greg Abbott is expected to run for lieutenant governor if the office is vacant.

If Hutchison resigns in October or November, a special election will be held no later than May 2010, but Perry could set the election sooner by declaring an emergency.


She seems genuinely disappointed that Perry is running for reelection. I am sorry to see her go, but it will certainly make Texas politics interesting for the next year or so. There are a number of good candidates in the race to replace her and so far none have pulled away from the field. I have a high regard for both Railroad Commissioners Elizabeth Ames Jones and Michael Williams. If Dewhurst is in the race, he has resources that may make him a formidable candidate also.

I think Kay has a formidable task in defeating Perry in the Republican primary at this point, although she has plenty of time to change the current dynamic and she has a history of running strong campaigns. I plan to support the winner of the primary. I hope they both run a respectful campaign that focuses on the issues.


  1. I think the possibility of a respectful campaign has already been shattered. Kay has been relentlessly negative for months now, and Rick's team has responded with the same thing every time, which is to say that she is not offering solutions and is a Washington insider. I almost wonder if she had not attacked so much, Rick's people would not have had to counter, and her poll numbers might still be higher.


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