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The Brief: December 4, 2009

All ears are upon Houston Mayor Bill White — a man whose own ears Texas Monthly calls “perhaps a size too large for the superstructure.”

THE BIG CONVERSATION

All ears are upon Houston Mayor Bill White — a man whose own ears Texas Monthly calls “perhaps a size too large for the superstructure.”

Today is the day, after two weeks of mulling it over, that White will announce if he’s getting into the governor’s race.  If anyone is wondering what the verdict will be, the Houston Chronicle is leading with “It's official: White will run for governor.”

Thursday was the official start of the filing period for the March primaries.  There were no real surprises.  As expected, Gov. Rick Perry was quick to file for an unprecedented third term as Texas Governor.

State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, who recently announced his retirement, finally acknowledged that he was getting into the race after staying silent on rumors to that effect for days.  Ogden, currently the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, considered a run against U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, but says he decided he could do more for the state by staying put.

This race will feature something Ogden has never dealt with — a primary challenger.  Ben Bius, who has lost three previous bids for office, also filed for the seat.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, filed for re-election, saying, ““I’ve found a lot of success in the legislature, and I believe my service there is tangibly helping Texas and its people.”  Watson previously looked at and decided against a run for governor and has been discussed as a potential statewide candidate.

For more on who filed, check out the rundown by our Ross Ramsey.

One month still remains, and there are still some puzzles that haven’t been figured out.  For starters, what will Democratic gubernatorial candidate Hank Gilbert say at today’s “a virtual press conference with Texas media to address his status in the race for Governor of Texas?"

CULLED

Speculation abounds that the Republican Party of Texas, despite an affinity for property rights, may owe The Platters an apology — at least — for swiping their intellectual property.  In a recent web ad attacking soon-to-be gubernatorial candidate Bill White, they used the entirety of the song “The Great Pretender” without securing any permission.  Party spokesman Bryan Preston told The Austin Chronicle that the use is covered under “fair use and political parody” — an explanation the Chronicle says has “problems.”

For anyone that missed former Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to endorse U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison last month, but would still like to see a VP-type that has endorsed a Texas gubernatorial candidate (not Hutchison, though) — head on over to Plano.  Cheney’s would-be successor Sarah Palin won’t be stumping for Gov. Rick Perry today, though she is expected to do at some point, but she will be at Legacy Books signing copies of her new tome Going Rogue: An American Life. After that, she will make a stop at Fort Hood.

"The number one thing was do not go wobbly on Hitler. Hitler bad. Do not bring up Hitler." — Dallas County Republican Party chair Jonathan Neerman on what every candidate needs to know.

MUST READ:

 Strayhorn tries to reach Bill White, perhaps contemplating 2010 comeback as Democrat — Postcards

Casey: Bill White can win, but it won't be easy — Houston Chronicle

Potential election foes Hutchison, White unite in fight for Texas plant — Dallas Morning News

The Doctor is In ... Eventually — The Texas Tribune

Obama seeks advice on creation of jobs — San Antonio Express-News

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