The Brief: Top Texas News for Mar 4, 2010

Kay Bailey Hutchison concedes 2010 gubernatorial election
Kay Bailey Hutchison concedes 2010 gubernatorial election

The Big Conversation

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s supporters have had over 24 hours to get through the seven stages of the grieving process.  But there’s a little known eighth stage: deciding if they can support the man who defeated her.

In her Tuesday night concession speech, Hutchison told her supporters to join her and “unite behind” Gov. Rick Perry as he carries on as the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee.  Early indications are that this will not be a problem.

TRT Holdings founder Robert Rowling, a former University of Texas regent and one of Hutchison’s top donors, says he is supporting Perry “100 percent. Absolutely.”

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who served as an Honorary Statewide Co-Chairman on Hutchison’s campaign,  kicks the support bar up a notch, saying, “As the Republican candidate, I support Rick Perry and am behind him 110 percent.”

 

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, who’s in the same boat as Carter, said, “He fully intends to support Gov. Perry.”  In an identical situation, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, will also be supporting Gov. Perry.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, never publicly supported either candidate — though, yesterday he expressed his belief that Hutchison’s opponents’ portrayal of her was “unfair.”  He says of Perry, “Obviously, I want him to be successful in November.”

Of course, Team Kay was comprised of more than just wealthy donors and politicians.  Time will tell how the rest of the Hutchison crowd deals with the transition.

Meanwhile, third place finisher Debra Medina isn’t giving up her support so easily.  She issued a statement saying, “While I must concede the loss of this battle, I will not make concessions that reduce this fight to the level of mere sport. Our freedom is being stripped away and I will continue to press our cause.”

Medina is expected to issue a statement sometime today elaborating on her plans.

CULLED

• Will U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison take her colleague’s advice? U.S. John Cornyn is encouraging her to remain in the Senate, despite a repeated campaign promise to resign when the debates over healthcare reform and cap and trade legislation are finished. "My pitch to her is that I do think it's in the best interest of state, the best interest of the Republican Party, and in her best interest to stay in the Senate for a while,” he said. “My hope would be she would consider staying through the duration of her term."

• With all the focus on election night fights, here’s a battle you may not have seen coming. Yesterday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, introduced a resolution honoring the victims of the recent suicide plane attack in Austin and condemning the “terror attack perpetrated deliberately” against the Internal Revenue Service employees. It passed by a vote of 408-2.  The two outliers were U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, and Texas’s own U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson. Still no word on their reasoning, but Paul is well known for his desire to abolish the IRS. UPDATE: From Paul's office: "Congressman Paul of course does not condone violence, however he could not bring himself to support a resolution that praises the IRS."

 

• Be careful what you joke about.  Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk was jokingly asked his thoughts on Gov. Rick Perry’s primary victory, setting off an angry rant about Perry’s secession-baiting tendencies. “I grew up in the Jim Crow South,” said Kirk. “All this states-rights, secession stuff, I know what it means for people of my parents' generation and me. And we fought too hard to get me to this point for me to be amused even a little bit by any of this states-rights secession stuff."

Given the choice between ‘Porter’ and ‘Carrillo’ — unfortunately, the Hispanic-surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover.” — Victor Carillo, an incumbent Republican Railroad Commissioner, on why he lost his primary bid for reelection.

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