If the lieutenant governor's job comes open in 2014, Comptroller Susan Combs is interested. But that's a long way off, she says, and everything has to line up just right.
"I am, of course, focused on the session, but I'm seriously looking at it if the stars align, and there are a lot of stars that have to align correctly," she says. "The dust will have settled in late '12."
That's a change of heart for the comptroller, who has said in the past that she has no political ambitions beyond her current post, which the Republican has held since 2007.
"I like doing what I do," she says. "I haven't lost any of my energy. I've really had a fresh look at some of the things that we can and should do in government."
Now, she's interested, but acknowledges the line of "ifs" between here and there. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he's considering a race for the U.S. Senate seat Kay Bailey Hutchison now holds. That's a 2012 election. If he ran and won, the Senate would name one of its own to hold his spot for two years and the seat would be on the ballot in 2014.
That's the window for Combs. And for Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and anyone else who's interested. And four years is forever in politics.