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2010: Staying Down on the Farm

The Texas Farm Bureau is staying out of the general election for governor, endorsing none of the major or minor candidates.

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The Texas Farm Bureau, which has had a testy relationship with Gov. Rick Perry for at least a dozen years (dating from his 1998 race for Lite Guv against Democrat John Sharp) is staying out of the general election, endorsing none of the major or minor candidates.

The organization's AGFUND aggressively backed Kay Bailey Hutchison in the GOP primary, announcing in late 2009 that it favored the state's senior senator over the incumbent. They're not with Perry now, but they're not signing on with Democrat Bill White, either; their board of directors voted unanimously to remain neutral.

The group was instrumental in getting Perry into statewide office in the first place, supporting his bid for agriculture commissioner in 1990 against Democrat Jim Hightower, who at the time appeared to be a politically formidable incumbent. The tension from the 1998 race blossomed with the group's opposition to Perry's proposal, as governor, for a Trans Texas Corridor — a now-abandoned plan for a vast network of roads and rails and infrastructure spanning the state, and later, over his veto of an eminent domain bill favored by the group.

AGFUND usually backs Republican candidates in statewide races and has endorsed GOP candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller and agriculture commissioner.

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