Texas’ Hutchison won’t seek re-election
Vail, CO Colorado
WASHINGTON ” Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison said Tuesday she will not seek re-election after her current Senate term and is weighing other options, which could include a bid for Texas governor.
“I was honest in the (2006) campaign that it was my intention to not go beyond this last term, third term,” said Hutchison of Texas. “I know every other option is certainly available, but I don’t intend to run for a fourth term.”
Hutchison told Texas Monthly magazine that stepping down in two years “has to be considered.”
“Is it better for Texas for me to leave early and give someone else a chance to start building seniority before the class of 2013? I think it probably is,” Hutchison told the magazine. Excerpts of the interview were posted Monday on the magazine’s “State of Mine” feature written by editor Evan Smith.
But in response to a question from a reporter Tuesday, she said she does not expect to resign in 2009.
Hutchison said she has not yet decided whether to run for governor.
“It’s too early to be gearing up. I don’t want to peak in 2007 for a 2010 race. Would I like to do it? Yes. A lot of things have to happen to make it a reality. You can’t plan that far ahead with certainty,” she told Texas Monthly.
Hutchison had considered challenging Gov. Rick Perry, also a Republican, in 2006. But she backed out of what was likely to be a bruising and divisive race.
“It was not the right time for Texas and it was probably not the right time for the Republican Party to have that kind of challenge,” she told the magazine.
But now, “there’s not anyone who could really make a case to me that this would be divisive for the Republican Party in a way that would make me step back,” she said.
When she won a special election for the seat vacated by Lloyd Bentsen in 1993, Hutchison pledged to serve only two terms and declared herself a supporter of term limits.
But last year after she gave up the gubernatorial race and declared she was seeking a third term. Hutchison said she still supports term limits but wouldn’t bind herself unless other senators also left after two terms.
She won her first full term in 1994 and was re-elected in 2000 and again in 2006.
If she does run for governor and wins, once she steps down as senator a temporary appointment would be made by the governor to fill the Senate seat until an election is held.