Thursday, December 10, 2009

Texas Senate Election

More news about a special U.S. Senate election that will be held in Texas if Kay Bailey Hutchison resigns from that body next year, as she has said she will do. Hutchison is running for governor of Texas, and will stay in the U.S. Senate until after the gubernatorial primary in which she faces incumbent Rick Perry. (Contrary to my speculation in this post, she has pledged to resign, even if she loses the primary.)

Chris Cillizza reports, in his blog The Fix, on the website of The Washington Post, that the Senate candidacy of Commissioner Michael Williams, of the Railroad Commission of Texas, will get a boost from Washington. Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, whom Cillizza describes as "the de facto leader -- within Congress -- of the tea party wing of the party", will reportedly endorse Williams.

Williams, 56, was appointed in 1998 to fill a vacancy on the commission by then-Governor George W. Bush. He has since been elected and reelected to that position.

"Railroad commission" is a misnomer. It actually regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas.

According to Cillizza, Williams is being pushed as the best representative of the true-blue (or is that "true-red?) right wing of the party. Cillizza portrays DeMint as the leader of an alternative to the official Senate campaign committee of his party.

This is also another case of Republicans seeking an African American candidate who can win a major statewide election. Previous such attempts have failed, such as the unsuccessful campaign of football star Lynn Swann to deny reelection to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in 2006.

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