Rick Perry vs. the World *
Tracking the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.
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Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Wall Street Journal summary:
This appeared in John Fund's Political Diary:
Amid signs that the state's senior senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, will challenge him in the GOP primary in 2006, Texas Governor Rick Perry came to Washington last week to rally national conservative activists in case he has to defend his job. Mr. Perry met a who's who of conservatives. He had breakfast with Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association. Then it was on to an afternoon reception at the offices of Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. After meetings with the National Right to Life Committee and the National Federation of Independent Business, he ended his day with dinner at the home of columnist George Will. He apparently made a favorable impression, especially with his account of how he closed a multi-billion-dollar budget gap without raising taxes.

One reason for Mr. Perry's stepped-up activity is that the omnibus spending bill about to pass Congress in its lame-duck session includes a provision that would allow candidates for state office to use cash they had originally raised for their federal races. In Senator Hutchison's case, some $6.7 million would become available for her gubernatorial campaign.

Senator Hutchison, a former Houston TV reporter, is allegedly bored with legislative chores in Washington and wants to move back to Texas, which she considers a better place to raise her adopted children. Her ideal outcome would be to convince Mr. Perry to abandon the governor's mansion and run for her seat in the Senate. But Mr. Perry is unlikely to view such a game of musical chairs favorably. A likelier outcome is a bloody primary for governor, combined with an equally brutal fracas to succeed Ms. Hutchison in the Senate. Two major GOP contenders are likely to be Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Rep. Henry Bonilla, who would be the first significant Hispanic Republican to seek a major statewide office.

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