West Texas Republicans trying to recruit Kent Hance to run for the Texas Senate will have to keep looking. The Texas Tech University System Chancellor said Monday evening that he is not interested.
“Let me quote LBJ on that,” he said. “If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.”
The current state senator from Lubbock, Republican Robert Duncan, is expected to leave his current post to become the new chancellor at Texas Tech. Hance announced his retirement from that post in October, and Duncan emerged from a search by the board of regents as the sole finalist for the job.
State Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, has already said he will run for Duncan’s seat, but he is not expected to be the only candidate. Duncan was elected to the Texas House in 1992 and has served in the Senate since 1996. Before he was a legislator, he worked as general counsel to state Sen. John Montford, D-Lubbock, who left the Senate to become chancellor of Texas Tech. Montford, a business executive, now lives in San Antonio.
Hance, 71, served two terms in the Texas Senate from 1975 to 79, representing the same area that Duncan represents now. He was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1978, beating Republican George W. Bush, and left that job to run, unsuccessfully, for U.S. Senate in 1984. He changed parties in 1985 and lost Republican primaries for governor in 1986 and 1990, serving as a Texas Railroad Commissioner in between those races. He has been chancellor at Tech since 2006.