Although Rick Perry has declined to meet with their editorial boards, newspapers across Texas are beginning to announce their support for candidates running in the GOP gubernatorial primary (among other races — but, hey, this is the big magilla). First up is the Austin American-Statesman, which is backing Kay Bailey Hutchison:

Hutchison is not the flashiest politician in the race, but she is nonetheless the best choice in the Republican primary. While incumbent Gov. Rick Perry has to stretch the facts about his unprecedented nine years as governor, the sad fact is that he has little to show for that long tenure. Even sadder is that the governor is turning into a caricature in order to please a rowdy constituency that feeds on secessionist fantasies and fairy tales about tax cuts.

What Hutchison offers is a record of substantive leadership in transportation, border security and education, among others. She is not afraid to speak her mind but appears to be playing defense as she navigates the Republican gubernatorial primary race. Behind in the polls and dragging a rather mediocre campaign, the senator struggles for footing in her challenge of Perry and Debra Medina, the GOP activist who has surged since mid-January.

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