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The Brief: January 5, 2010

The smart money is on Republican Susan Combs to retain her position as Comptroller.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

The smart money is on Republican Susan Combs to retain her position as Comptroller.  She didn’t draw a primary opponent or even a Democratic challenger.  She will have to fend off Libertarian candidate Mary Ruwart in the general election.

That’s just one lesson learned as yesterday’s filing deadline came and went and the ballots for the March 2 primary became finalized.

Without further ado, here’s what the statewide races officially look like for the next two months:

Governor —Perry, Rick (R)*, Medina, Debra (R), Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R), Locke, Star (R), White, Bill (D), Shami, Farouk (D), Glenn, Clement E. (D), Dear, Bill (D), Alvarado, Felix (D), Aguado, Alma Ludivina (D)  

Lieutenant Governor — Dewhurst, David (R)*, Katz, Marc (D), Earle, Ronnie (D), Chavez-Thompson, Linda (D)

Attorney General — Abbott, Greg (R)*, Radnofsky, Barbara Ann (D)

Railroad Commissioner —Carrillo, Victor (R)*, Porter, David (R), Weems, Jeff (D)

Land Office Commissioner — Patterson, Jerry (R)*, Uribe, Hector (D), Burton, Bill (D)

Agriculture Commissioner — Staples, Todd (R)*, Gilbert, Hank (D), Friedman, Kinky (D)

Texas House and Senate races — as well as U.S. Congressional races — can all be viewed in our Election 2010 database.

CULLED:

• The sad news first. Democratic political consultant Kelly Fero died yesterday afternoon at his home in Austin. He was 57. He was best known as an Austin-based consultant to John Sharp, Tony Sanchez, the late Jim Mattox, among others. Mike Lavigne, Fero’s friend and colleague, posted a moving tribute that touched on Fero’s many talents.  He said, “I am choosing, at this early date, to remember this about Kelly Fero: He approached everything in life as a songwriter.”

• U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is up on the air with a new TV ad.  Titled “Road Signs,” the spot takes on the Trans-Texas Corridor — which Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign has insisted is dead — and features an automated highway marquee flashing messages about Perry wanting to turn free roads into toll roads.  Hutchison has also purchased ad time during the upcoming BCS title game. However, if you prefer the in-person Hutchison experience, she will be in Houston this morning making an announcement with Harris County Precinct 8 Constable Bill Bailey.

•  Today, former Houston Mayor Bill White will spend his first full day as just a regular old gubernatorial candidate.  He’ll be in the Valley — specifically McAllen, Edcouch, Mercedes, and Brownsville.  “It’ll be just another day,” says White, “But now that I can not be shuttling back and forth from City Hall, I’ll have a little more time to visit with Texans.”

“I should have shot him when I had the chance.” – Republican Land Comissioner Jerry Patterson on his new Democratic opponent, former state Sen. Hector Uribe, D-Brownsville.  The two portrayed opposing soldiers in 2004’s The Alamo.

I suspect I’m not quite the E-Harmony candy-date that he was dreaming of.” — Uribe responding to Patterson 

MUST READ:

IRS places tax lien on Doc AndersonWaco Tribune-Herald

• Republicans are favorites to keep statewide officesAustin American-Statesman

• Texas Gov. Rick Perry has toiled to steer clear of George W. Bush's shadowThe Dallas Morning News

• State income tax? Chavez-Thompson deftly ducksTrail Blazers

• Johnson looking to unseat Jackson Lee in CongressHouston Chronicle

No Country For Health Care, Part 2: The Trauma Hole — The Texas Tribune

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