It was short and to the point.
“The State of our state is strong, but there will be challenges,” Governor Rick Perry said during a speech in front of about 900 people attending a Greater Houston Partnership luncheon.
Perry touted the state’s strong economy and education reform, but he didn’t say much about how he plans to tackle the $11-$18 Billion budget shortfall if he’s re-elected.
The speech took place only days before the start of early voting across Texas.
That prompted Democrat Bill White’s campaign to accuse the governor of using the event – and the office – for political purposes.
Shortly before the speech started the Greater Houston Partnership asked two members of White’s campaign staff to leave. They were there to pass out a press release questioning the governor’s record and alleged mounting public corruption scandal over the emerging technology fund.
The GHP could not verify whether the White staff members had tickets to attend the event. (White’s campaign told me they did have paid tickets)
I was told that the request to evict the staffers was made by a member of Governor Perry’s team.
Politics aside, the speech drew a large diverse crowd of business and community leaders along with elected officials. As usual, I snapped a few pictures: Tracye McDaniels, Judge Ed Emmett, Jim Grace Jr., Dr. Renu Khator, Bill King, State Sen. Tommy Williams, Jeri Brooks, City Council member Brenda Stardig, Jessica Michan, Sonio Soto, Catarina Gonzalez, Jason Fuller, and State Rep.-elect Ron Reynolds were some of the people in the crowd.