State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, is no longer a candidate for U.S. Senate and says she'll refund about $1 million to her contributors. Shapiro was the first candidate to get into the race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was at the time thinking about resigning early to concentrate on her challenge to Gov. Rick Perry. Shapiro and others — Michael Williams, Roger Williams, Elizabeth Ames Jones, John Sharp, Bill White, etc., etc., etc. — raised money and waited. And waited. Hutchison dithered, effectively turning the speculation about whether and when she would resign into her campaign theme.
Now, with Hutchison looking more and more like she'll stay in office, Shapiro is out. And if Hutchison announces today that she is, in fact, staying, expect more of these announcements.
Shapiro's press release, in full:
For Immediate Press Release
Austin, Texas, Wednesday, March 31, 2010--- Plano Republican State Senator Florence Shapiro has announced she is formally withdrawing her candidacy for the 2012 United States Senate seat currently held by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
“The political landscape of American government has dramatically shifted since I announced my US Senate candidacy almost 21 months ago,” Shapiro stated. “State government is now the last back stop to an over-reaching federal government.”
With a positive reflection on her US Senate journey, Shapiro said she leaves the federal race with no regrets. “I wouldn’t do it any differently,” she said. “I am truly humbled by each of those who helped the campaign and proud of what we accomplished.”
“My decision to withdrawal from the US Senate race is an obvious and clear one,” Shapiro stated. “To protect Texas taxpayers, I firmly believe we now need an all hands on deck commitment by our state legislature.”
Shapiro also noted that the demands on her role as Chairman of the State Senate Education Committee have increased over the past several months. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst recently appointed her to lead an interim statewide committee tasked with development of a new public school funding formula. “Our pending state budget shortfall has worsened the immediacy of the issues facing our school children,” Shapiro said.
An accomplished advocate of education system accountability, Shapiro had been endorsed in her US Senate campaign by former President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, and by former President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings.
Key statewide Republican and business leaders including former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach and 15 of her 19 Republican colleagues in the Texas State Senate had also endorsed Shapiro’s US Senate candidacy.
According to reports on file with the Federal Election Commission, Shapiro’s US Senate Campaign committee raised over one million dollars. Shapiro said the left over funds in her US Senate campaign account would be refunded to her contributors.
“I feel our US Senate campaign had good timing. We amplified the conservative voice in the national debate on economic recovery, education, immigration, the environment and healthcare,” Shapiro said. “Now the political battlefield is refocusing on the state level and so am I.”