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  Talk Elections
  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Gubernatorial/State Elections (Moderators: Brittain33, Gass3268, Virginiá)
  Hutchison Running for Gov? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Hutchison Running for Gov?  (Read 2890 times)
Sam Spade
SamSpade
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« on: May 05, 2005, 04:44:56 pm »

Hutchinson has now been talking about running for governor for at least a year.  I'm still waiting to see whether she wants to take that chance, and it is still a big chance.

Clearly the biggest problem Hutchinson would have is not the Democrat party challenger.  Rather, its the Republican, especially the pro-life establishment, which is very powerful in the state.  They are firmly in the back pocket of Perry and would support him over the pro-choice Hutchinson.

Simply put, Hutchinson, in order to win, will have to pull a McCain here and rely on the support independents and Democrats, as Texas has an open primary system, where any registered voter can vote in any one primary he or she wishes to.

My guess is that she's waiting to see three things:

1.  How Perry's approval ratings are and how she faces up to him in private polling.

2.  Whether any halfway decent Democrat candidates enter the race as to provide a primary battle from within the Democrat party.  This would draw away from potential primary supporters for Hutchinson.

3.  To see if Carole Keeton Rylander decides to enter the Republican primary as well.  Both are pro-choice and could therefore siphon away from each other's support.  Rylander won her last election with 65% of the vote and is also a strong candidate with a very loose mouth.

The question here is which Republican candidate wins the general election, not really whether the Democrats have a fighting chance.

If she leaves the Senate, I would expect the next Senator to be Henry Bonilla of San Antonio, though I'm sure there would be some hard-fought party challengers from inside the Republican Party.

About the only Democrats who I think can break 45% statewide are probably John Sharp and maybe the newcomer Henry Cuellar, both conservative Democrats and both that here in Maryland would labeled as far-right Republicans.  Tongue
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Sam Spade
SamSpade
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2005, 05:35:19 pm »

I didn't know Hutch was pro-choice.  Yeah, she's going down in the primaries then.

Not necessarily. 

She is very popular in Texas among all voters, but among primary GOP voters, the pro-choice stance will cause a problem, especially as Perry has the support of the major GOP bigwigs and his approval ratings have rebounded a lot this year.

She will need to get plenty of independents and Democrats to turn out and vote in the GOP primary if she wants to win.
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Sam Spade
SamSpade
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 12:21:51 am »

Whoever ends up as Governor in January 2007, Rick Perry, Kay Hutch, or some other person.  This would give them a huge boost if they plan to seek higher office (i.e. White House) in 2012 or 2016.  Being the Chief Executive for the second-most populated state in the country is definitely a good spring board.  Just ask George W. Bush.

True, however the term "chief executive" is a very loose one when describing the power of the governor. The governor of Texas has very little power. Mainly just the power to appoint and act as represenative of Texas to meet with the likes of the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. The true "cheif execuative" of Texas is the Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst.

TX_1824 is very correct here. 

The person who sets the legislative agenda is the Lt. Governor.  The Governor has absolutely no power pretty much over what legislation comes to a vote (unless he works very closely with the Lt. Gov.). 

Of course, he can veto or support what he wants legislatively, but the Texas Constitution takes pretty much every big legislative change out of his hands by requiring a Constitutional Amendment to be approved by the voters and 2/3rds of the Senate and House.

The Texas Constitution is very limited and has had about 3,000 amendments in the 130 years.

Governors in Texas are very weak.  Lt. Governors are very strong.
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Sam Spade
SamSpade
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 12:38:03 am »

Um, what? If he can vetoes and signs legislation, how is that any different from the president of the United States? How is he limited?

What power does the lt. governor have that the governor does not?

Question 1:  First, he cannot dictate the legislation to the House or Senate to consider.  He must go through the Lt. Governor first, who controls what legislation reaches the floor and what legislation doesn't.

Bush, very early in his career made good friends with the Democrat Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, which was very smart, because otherwise he would have had hell getting any of his priorities (tort reform, education through) up for a vote ever.

Secondly, and I must stress this again.  The Texas Constitution is extremely limited.  The Legislature can't pass laws on a bunch of things that the US House and Senate can.  They must pass a piece of legislation by 2/3rds vote and then it must pass a majority of voters as a Constitutional Amendment.  The Governor has no hand in these things.

As a few examples:  Laws allowing home-equity loans had to be passed through the House and Senate and then as a Constitutional amendment by a majority of voters.

A state income tax can only be enacted the same way.

An anti-gay marriage law can only be enacted the same way.

In these fields, the governor has no control over this at all.  And also in these fields the Lt. Governor has all the control because he dictates what will come up for a vote and what won't.

It's a system you would like A18.
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Sam Spade
SamSpade
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2005, 12:44:42 am »

Link to the Texas Constitution for reading:

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/txconst/toc.html
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2005, 02:10:56 am »

Bumping as we have news...

Hutchinson is not running for Governor, she is running for re-election to the Senate as of today's announcement here.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3230922

The Republican primary will mainly pit Rick Perry against Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (I think that's her new maiden name), as everyone is expecting Strayhorn to announce that she is running this afternoon.  (will post announcement here)

This article also mentions Mitch McConnell saying that Hutchinson will probably be the #3 Republican in the Senate when she wins re-election.
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