Sheriff Garcia Rules Out Senate Bid
January 17, 2011

It started as a  “Draft Adrian” campaign. 

Twitter and email were buzzing with the idea of drafting Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

The moment U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced she would retire at the end of her current term many democrats started floating Sheriff’s Garcia’s name. 

The idea sounded intriguing to some because Sheriff Garcia has good name id, can raise money, has a reputation for being tough on crime , and has already proven that he can defeat a republican.  It also helps that he is Hispanic and would have wider appeal to voters in a statewide election.

But this morning the Sheriff is ruling out any potential campaign.

In a statement released to the media the Sheriff says he is flattered, but will remain focused on his current job.

Sheriff Garcia stated: “I am flattered that my name would emerge among others as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate. However, I am honored and proud to be serving as Harris County Sheriff.  I have almost 30 years of experience in law enforcement.  Fighting crime and keeping our communities safe is what I am good at and it is what I love to do.  The murder rate is down, we have cut millions of dollars in waste from our budget, and we have increased transparency and community outreach. But there is still so much work to do. 
 
“That is why I have no interest in running for U.S. Senate at this time.  It is my intention to run for another term as Sheriff in 2012.”
 
 

Sen. Hutchison Leads Fight For NASA Jobs And Programs
July 17, 2010

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) held a news conference Thursday to outline the legislation she cosponsored to safeguard America’s human spaceflight capabilities while “balancing commercial space investment with a robust mission for NASA.”

The NASA Reauthorization Bill was passed by the  Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which Hutchison serves as a ranking member. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Annise Parker has issued a statement regarding the legislation which was passed by a Senate committee:

“We have worked for  months to bring people together to craft a compromise on the future of NASA,” said Mayor Parker. “This gives us some breathing room and the opportunity to continue the ongoing work to protect the great work being done Johnson Space Center.  There is still much to do and we can take nothing for granted.”

The Mayor also congratulated Senator Hutchison for her work in crafting the bi-partisan proposal.  “Without the senator’s tireless commitment the committee’s unanimous vote wold not have been possible,” said Mayor Parker.  “This comes as no surprise to Houstonians, as Kay has always fought on behalf   of  Texas.”

According  to the Mayor’s statement,  the committee’s proposal would reauthorize funding for NASA for three years, preserving 80 percent of the jobs that would have been lost at Johnson Space Center (JSC) under the administration’s proposal.  It also extends the International Space Station program, managed at JSC, and funds a shuttle replacement program along with a continued investment in commercial space ventures. More details about the bill are available on the Committee’s website.

She also noted that the  legislation must now be passed by the full Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and would require the President’s signature.

President Bush #41 Endorses Sen. Hutchison for Texas Governor
January 22, 2010

 With some polls showing her trailing Gov. Perry by ten points, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison got a huge boost to her campaign Friday when she was enthusiastically endorsed by  former President George H.W. Bush (#41)  and First Lady Barbara Bush.

Speaking from a podium in the driveway of his Galleria-area home, Mr. Bush said that a vote for KBH was a “vote for conservative values.”

(The following is a campaign news release)

 President George H.W. Bush And First Lady Barbara Bush Endorse Hutchison For Governor 

HOUSTON, TX – Today, at their home in Houston, President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison in her campaign for Texas governor. 

“Barbara and I are taking this unusual step of endorsing in this primary because of our unbridled belief in Kay. She is strong. She has proven her steadfast commitment to the issues and values that unite Texas Republicans. And we are proud to stand with her today,” said former President Bush.

 The Bushes, who do not have a history of endorsing in Republican primaries. offered their enthusiastic support of Kay Bailey Hutchison. Citing the need for a strong leader in the governor’s office to lead Texas forward, they emphasized their focus on the future and the need to confront tough, complex issues that have gone unaddressed. 

“Kay is a respected national leader on many of the same issues that Texas is confronting today. These are tough, complex issues, but we have every confidence that Kay can get positive action after years of drift and delay,” said former President Bush. “This election is about the future, not the past – and we have no doubt that Kay has the right vision and values to help Texas build an even better tomorrow.”

 As a lifelong Republican, Hutchison worked to help build the Texas Republican Party from the ground up. She is more committed than ever to maintaining a strong Republican Party that is true to its core principles of more freedom and less government. 

President Bush who served as Harris County GOP chairman and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee lauded Kay’s loyal dedication to the Party, “I respect Kay’s loyal dedication to the Republican Party. To paraphrase the old song, she was a Lone Star Republican before it was cool to be a Republican in Texas.” 

First Lady Barbara Bush offered accolades for Kay and her leadership by saying, “We are endorsing Kay because she has proven herself as an effective leader fighting for Texas values in the United States Senate – and we have no doubt she can bring that same positive, inclusive style of leadership to Austin, to help our beloved Texas realize its fullest potential.” 

Hutchison is the only candidate in this race who has laid out a clear vision for Texas’ future and a plan to keep Texas strong 20 years from now. She has put forth plans to fix Rick Perry’s transportation mess, improve education by tackling the dropout rate head on, secure the border, protect private property rights and keep taxes low. She has also pledged to end the cronyism and mismanagement of our state government under Rick Perry.  

“The endorsements of George and Barbara Bush further the momentum of our campaign,” said Hutchison. “I am so honored to have the support of a true American statesman and one of our most beloved first ladies. This election is about the future of Texas, and as governor, I will look ahead and implement policies that will ensure Texas remains the greatest state in the nation.”###

The Debate And Dollar Signs
January 14, 2010

As the three leading candidates  in the race for the republican nomination for Governor prepare to debate tonight, democratic candidate Bill While is showing his fundraising strength.

According to his campaign,  the former Houston Mayor raised $6.2 Million in the last half of 2009,  including $3 Million in transfers from his campaign for U.S. Senate.

White dropped out of the Senate race in December when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison decided to stay in Washington while challenging Governor Rick Perry for the republican party nomination for governor.

White faces hair care executive Farouk Shami in the March democratic party primary. Shami announced that he plans to pump $10 Million of  his own money into the campaign.

Here is the news release from White’s campaign:

Texans uniting behind Bill White as Texas’ next Governor
Financial results show a strong campaign

HOUSTON, TEXAS — As of the end of the last filing period on Dec. 31, more than 7,000 supporters had contributed to former Houston Mayor Bill White’s campaign.

In the 28 days after White’s Dec. 4 announcement for governor, supporters responded with more than $2.5 million, for an average fundraising rate of over $90,000 per day. With transfers and in-kind donations, the effort to elect Bill White as governor collected more than $6.2 million and ended the year with nearly $5.5 million on hand.

“The response to Bill’s announcement that he’d consider running for governor was enormous, with more than 8,000 Texans emailing him to encourage him to run. Then, once Bill decided to run, those supporters responded with generous financial support,” said Campaign Finance Chair Scott Atlas. “We’ll be ready for November.”

To date, White’s combined campaigns have collected more than $10 million since December 2008.

The son of San Antonio school teachers, White helped build a law firm and managed a successful business before being elected Houston’s mayor in 2003. Since then, he’s been re-elected twice with 86% and 91% of the vote. During White’s administration, Houston led the nation’s cities in job growth, adding more jobs than sixteen states combined. At the same time, he cut property tax rates five years in a row and helped seniors with tax relief. White also started a special initiative that gives returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Bill White mobilized effective disaster response including first responders, businesses and churches. For his compassionate, hands-on leadership after Katrina, White received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States.

The Battle For The Heart And Soul Of The Republican Party
November 17, 2009

Social conservatives could decide the outcome of the March 2010 GOP Primary for Governor  of  Texas.

Governor Rick Perry has always held the advantage with that side of the republican party, but now Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is getting some big help from a solid conservative.

Calling her  “The Real Deal”, former Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed Senator Hutchison for Governor of  Texas on Tuesday.

The former vice president flew to Houston to  make the announcement in front of a crowd of about 200 people. 

He later attended a campaign fundraiser for Hutchison at the River Oaks area home of  a Houston energy executive.

Tuesday’s event  took place days after Senator Hutchison decided not to step down and focus fulltime on her campaign for  governor.

That means she will juggle her Senate responsibilities with her political schedule

In fact, the campaign says the endorsement and rally were pushed back in order to accomodate Senator Hutchison’s schedule on Tuesday. She was needed in Washington to help pass a bill that she authored, which gives more funding to the Veterans Cemetary.

Meanwhile,  the Perry  campaign  issued a release downplaying the significance of the endorsement.  Sources have also told 2 On the Beat that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will travel to Texas for a campaign event endorsing Perry.

Statement from Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner:

“Today’s appearance is not surprising considering the Washington establishment usually sticks together. Governor Perry is proud to have the endorsement of dozens of conservative groups, individuals and trade associations representing millions of Texans. They agree that he is the only true conservative in this race, and that his record of cutting taxes, balancing budgets and reducing spending has positioned Texas to have one of the strongest economies in the nation.”

Senator Hutchison’s Plan Rattles Republicans
November 14, 2009

 

KBH WOMEN FOR KAY 001kbh 003

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison confirmed Saturday that she plans to  remain in the U.S. Senate to continue fighting for Texas, while at the same time waging a campaign to defeat Governor Rick Perry.

Her plan seems to have  rattled some Republicans, especially those who had their eye on running  for her seat,  and/or hoped to be appointed to fill the position.

The Senator told 2 on The Beat that by staying in Washington until after the March 2010 primary,  she can work to defeat health care reform, cap-and-trade, and other legislation that she believes is detrimental to the state of  Texas.

She made her decision official during the Texas Republican Women’s convention in Galveston. 

I spoke to her later in Houston, where she was hosting a coffee and conversation with republican leaders.

kbh 001

Meantime, the Senator also told  me that  she  is in jeopardy of   missing a hugely important campaign endorsement rally that is scheduled to take place in Houston on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.

Vice President Dick Cheney is travelling here to officially throw his support to the senator,  but there is a chance that she will be in Washington to take up health care reform.

It’s an important photo-op, because Mr. Cheney has strong support among conservatives.

That segment of   the republican party has strongly backed Governor Perry, and he is do his best to appeal to them during the campaign, by criticizing President Obama and accusing him of trying to make American a socialist nation.

Big Money For Mayor Bill White
October 14, 2009

He’s been travelling around the state, getting to know voters while  campaigning for the U.S. Senate. 

Houston Mayor Bill White is apparently impressing enough people who are willing to open their checkbooks and contribute to his campaign.

The date of the election depends on when, or if, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison steps down to challenge Governor Rick Perry in the 2010 GOP March Primary.

Below is a copy of a news release that his campaign proudly sent to the media:

HOUSTON, TEXAS — To date, more than 5,000 supporters have contributed more than $6 million to Houston Mayor Bill White’s campaign since he announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in December.

The contributions for the filing period ending Sept. 30 totaled more than $1.5 million. In the last week of the quarter alone, supporters contributed $400,000, about half through the internet. The candidate pledged to match contributions during that week.

As of the second quarter filing period, the Bill White for Texas team had raised more dollars from more people than all other Senate candidates combined. With nearly 2000 first-time contributors, the third quarter filing period attracted significantly more new contributors to the campaign than any other quarter.

“With each report, it becomes increasingly clear that Texans across the state trust Bill White to be their voice in the U.S. Senate,” said Campaign Finance Chair Scott Atlas. “Bill is the right leader to move our state forward and protect the future of our children and grandchildren.”

“Getting funds early on is critical to the success of a statewide campaign,” Field Director J.D. Gins said. “I’m particularly proud that 5000 people have given their hard-earned cash to help elect Bill White, and even more have volunteered. Texans are serious about electing someone who will fight for them in Washington.”

The son of San Antonio school teachers, White helped build a law firm and managed a successful business before being elected Houston’s mayor in 2003. Since then, he’s been re-elected twice with 86% and 91% of the vote. During White’s administration, Houston led the nation’s cities in job growth, adding more jobs than sixteen states combined. At the same time, he cut property taxes five years in a row and helped seniors with tax relief. White also started a special initiative that gives returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Bill White mobilized an effective disaster response including first responders, businesses and churches. For the compassionate, hands-on leadership after Katrina, White received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States.

Perry vs. Hutchison: Round Two
September 10, 2009

Governor Rick Perry is in Houston today to talk about his plans to beef up border security.

But, it’s his ongoing political beef with U.S.  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison  that’s making bigger headlines.

Secretary of  State Hope Andrade released a letter saying the cost of the special election to replace Senator Hutchison could be as high as $20 Million.

Andrade, who was appointed by the Governor,  also says that a runoff  would cost taxpayers another $10 Million.

The Governor’s campaign released this statement about the Senator’s plans to step down and challenge Perry in the March 2010 GOP Primary.

Statement by Texans for Rick Perry Communications Director
Mark Miner on Hutchison Resignation Cost to Taxpayers

“The Senator’s potential resignation to run for governor amounts to nothing more than another taxpayer funded bailout, only this one benefits one person’s political ambition, leaving Texas taxpayers holding the bill. In addition to the Senator’s delegation-leading earmarks, her vote for a $700 billion Wall Street bailout, and her out-of-control spending habits, the potential cost to Texas taxpayers is $30 million.”

 #####

Perry is already the state’s longest serving Governor, and wants another four years in office.

Senator Hutchison said she plans to step down by late October or early November, to prepare to challenge Perry in the March 2010 GOP Primary.

Once she steps down, Governor Perry will set the date for a special election to fill the seat in the U.S. Senate.

Late Thursday afternoon Senator Hutchison’s campaign sent the following response:

“Just because Rick Perry has successfully bullied some University regents  into resigning doesn’t mean he can bully Kay Bailey Hutchison out of this race. If Rick Perry had spent the last nine years doing his job instead of playing political games, mismanaging the state and wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, Texans would not need a new governor to come in and clean up his mess.”

– Jennifer Baker, Communications Director Texans for Kay

 #####

Mayor White Celebrates Birthday With Cake and Campaign Cash
June 16, 2009

Houston Mayor Bill White celebrated turning fifty-five  Tuesday night by cutting two birthday cakes,  and collecting campaign donations for his anticipated race for the U.S. Senate.

Bill  White Senate 002Bill  White Senate 003

Several elected officials  and long time supporters of the Mayor attended the party,  which was held at his new campaign office near the Galleria.

White is term limited at city hall, and has six months left in office. It’s clear he is  spending a lot of time focusing on his future political aspirations.

Bill  White Senate 004Bill  White Senate 010

 In recent weeks, he has started juggling a hectic schedule:  taking care of the city’s business, while traveling the state on nights and weekends, shaking hands and meeting people to lay the ground work for the election.  During his speeches around the state White is focusing on his record of creating jobs and his experience dealing with natural disasters.

Bill  White Senate 006

Speaking of the election, the date will be decided whenever U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison decides to step down.  She has already announced plans to challenge  Governor Rick Perry in the March 2010 GOP primary.

Sources say the Senator wants to stay in Washington long enough to have input on  some proposed legislation. 

Herb Butrum, White’s chief fundraiser, says he thinks the election will be held in May 2010.  He didn’t say how much the Mayor raised at his birthday party, but White and his wife Andrea plan to match every dollar contributed to the campaign in June.