Texas Railroad Commission Chairman to Seek Hutchison’s Seat

Posted December 16, 2008 at 2:14pm

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams (R) today announced his intention to seek Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R) Senate seat in the event that she resigns next year to run for governor in 2010, according to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

Williams, who is black, declared his intention to run on Facebook and via Twitter, the Statesman reported.

“I am not exploring a run. I am running,” Williams said.

Hutchison does not have to resign her seat to run for governor. But she has indicated she will do so, most likely at some point after the 2009 Texas legislative session ends in the spring.

Should the Senator resign, Gov. Rick Perry (R) is charged with appointing her successor, who in turn would have to run for the seat outright in 2010. Any appointee is likely to face opposition in the March 2010 Republican Senate primary, given that the winner of that contest would be favored to win the November general election.

Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Bill White (D), whose candidacy has been rumored for several weeks, said Tuesday evening that he is also planning to run. “Texas needs a new voice in decisions that will be made in Washington, and my business experience and administrative expertise will ensure utilizing fiscally responsible means to get our economy moving,” White said.

He added that he planned to make a full announcement tour around the state in early 2009. White, a moderate Democrat, is seen as the likely choice of national Democratic leaders in the Texas race.