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Kolkhorst Gets Support From Campbell for Senate Run

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, announced on Monday another endorsement for a run at a state Senate seat that remains hypothetical for the time being.

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, explains Medicaid reimbursements on the House floor on April 4, 2013.

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, announced on Monday another endorsement for a run at a state Senate seat that remains hypothetical for the time being.

This time, the statement of support comes from state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, who extolled Kolkhorst as "a proven conservative leader who has led the charge against Obamacare and fought for fiscal conservative values." Earlier this month, Kolkhorst said her candidacy for Senate District 18 was being supported by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

The current occupant of the seat is Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy. He happens to be running to be the state's next comptroller, so Kolkhorst is lining up support early in case Hegar wins and later steps down from his Senate seat.

Whether there is a race in which to run will depend on couple of factors. The first, of course, is whether voters choose Hegar as comptroller. Given the performance of Republicans in statewide contests over the last 20 years, Kolkhorst has to feel fairly confident in that.

The second factor is the timing of Hegar's resignation and the subsequent special election to fill his seat. On this one, Kolkhorst and other Senate District 18 hopefuls are dependent on the governor to call a special election.

Recent history shows that vacancies can be short or long. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, stepped down from his Senate seat in late October and the special election was not held until May with a final, determinative runoff not happening until early August.

When Brandon Creighton took the oath of office in late August, the Senate District 4 seat had been vacant for nearly 10 months.

State Sen. Robert Duncan, on the other hand, resigned his Senate District 28 seat in early July and a special election — won in the first round by Charles Perry — was held just two months later.

The fact that the Legislature was not in session this year was surely a factor in the long delay in filling the Senate District 4 seat, but it points to some unpredictability in the timing on filling such vacancies.

It should also be noted that Kolkhorst is not alone in the early endorsement game here. Gary Gates, another Republican hopeful for the Senate District 18 seat, has announced an endorsement from former presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

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