Campaign Chatter

Gov. Rick Perry with supporters at Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public speech since leaving the presidential race.
Gov. Rick Perry with supporters at Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public speech since leaving the presidential race.

Gov. Rick Perry asked the Federal Election Commission if he can use money meant for his presidential campaign committee to form a Super PAC. It had $270,000 in the bank when the campaign was over and the campaign is asking the donors who contributed it whether they're willing to redesignate it.

• Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is doing his best to ignore the other Republicans in the race for U.S. Senate, but Democrat Paul Sadler got an immediate rise out of him with a demand that Dewhurst either quit or come back and restore cuts to public education.

Running against other Republicans is a little complicated, but for the Democrat, Dewhurst's strategy is to run against Barack Obama and to make it clear that Sadler's in the president's party.

Sadler's is to hold the Republicans up as more interested in politics than schoolchildren; he said Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry should call a special session on school finance, and said the lieutenant governor should either "get to work, or resign." Dewhurst responded that that was "just another example of a tax-and-spend liberal advocating for bigger government and more regulation."

• State Rep. Todd Smith is a "maybe" candidate for Texas Senate, depending on how the maps are drawn. For now, he says he's looking at it and won't make a decision until he sees the lines. Depending on how those come out, he could be in a contest with one or two Republican colleagues; three Tarrant/Dallas County Republicans — Kelly Hancock, Mark Shelton and Rodney Anderson — are already declared Senate candidates. Smith already filed as a House candidate; as soon as the political maps are set, there will be another filing period.

Scott Turner, running for the Texas House in Collin County, says he's won endorsements from the mayors of Blue Ridge, Celina, Farmersville, Lavon and Prosper. He's signed up for an open seat — HD-3 — but his website and campaign materials don't list a district, since the courts could jumble the maps.

Trent Ashby, a Lufkin Republican challenging freshman Rep. Marva Beck, R-Centerville, won the endorsement of the Texas Medical Association's TEXPAC.

• The Texas Farm Bureau's AGFUND endorsed Barry Smitherman for the Texas Railroad Commission. He's in the post now as an appointee.