Texas: New GOP Chief Wants KBH Timetable PDQ

Posted October 26, 2009 at 5:59pm

The new leader of the Texas Republican Party wants Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) to clarify whether and when she plans to resign to concentrate on her gubernatorial bid.

Cathie Adams, who was elected party chairwoman Saturday, prefers Hutchison’s plans be known by Jan. 4, the candidate filing deadline for the March 2 primary.

The Jan. 4 date is noteworthy because some Republican officeholders on 2010 ballots might want to run for Hutchison’s seat in a special election that her resignation would spawn. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) currently is running for re-election, but he’s seen as a potential candidate for Hutchison’s seat.

“It would help the people of the state of Texas to know more clearly, especially by Jan. 4, because if she resigns after that, we’re going to throw things into quite an unknown,— Adams said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Under Texas law, the special Senate election would be held May 8, though Gov. Rick Perry (R) could invoke emergency powers to schedule it for a different date.

Hutchison said this summer that she planned to resign in October or November, though she’s backed away from that schedule, saying she wants to participate in the Senate’s consideration of health care policy. In running for governor, she is not required to resign from the Senate.

At least five Republicans are seeking the Senate seat: state railroad commissioners Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones; Roger Williams, a former Texas secretary of state; state Sen. Florence Shapiro; and Andrew “Cas— Castanuela, an Air Force veteran.

Rep. Joe Barton (R), who represents the 6th district, might also seek the seat.

The Democratic candidates are Houston Mayor Bill White and John Sharp, a former state comptroller.

Adams is supporting Perry over Hutchison in the anticipated gubernatorial primary.