With the recent election of President Barack Obama, it is evident that America is ready for a change. Next year’s Texas gubernatorial election should prove to be no exception to the political revolution.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, recently launched an exploratory committee to examine the possibility of her running for the state’s highest office.
An article in Texas Monthly pointed out “Republicans who want change aren’t going to look for it from a governor who will have been in office for more than nine years on primary day.”
Following the wave of national sentiment created by the presidential election, Gov. Rick Perry will undoubtedly have a difficult time holding on to his position.
The future of Texas politics lies in a rare face off between two candidates of the same party.
A similar situation occurred for the Democratic Party during the 1978 gubernatorial race. Mirroring the Republican Party’s transition from a rural to an urban base, the urban candidate, Attorney General John Hill, won the Democratic Party’s nomination.
As a result, the rural democrats shifted their support to the Republican Party’s nominee, Bill Clements, giving him the momentum to defeat state party chairman and fellow Republican Ray Hutchison, Kay Bailey’s husband, to become Texas Governor.
Now, 31 years later, a different Hutchison is a contender: the first Republican woman to serve in the Texas House. Hutchison needs to learn from the Democrats and ensure she holds on to the rural vote as she is the ideal candidate to attract the urbanites and moderate conservatives. As one of Texas’ most popular political figures, she has won three re-elections to the Senate. In 2006, Perry skimmed by with a mere 39 percent of the vote for governor. According to an online article from Texas Monthly, Rick Perry “may be the last rural governor of Texas for quite a while, and a victory by the challenger could trigger an evolution of the Republican Party.”
Hutchison has long been a representation of such an evolution. She has a less-than-traditional conservative take on some of the major issues.
Her mixed voting record on abortion as well as her support of embryonic stem cell research differentiates her from Perry, who supports a bill authorizing “Choose Life” license plates.
The lengthy campaign for the presidency was only a warm-up for a Texas Republican race to the finish that you don’t want to miss.