Tina Benkiser, Rick Perry, etc
When Gov. Rick Perry filed for re-election during a pep rally at the state Republican headquarters in Austin last week, some reporters questioned whether GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser had abandoned the tradition of remaining neutral in contested races during the primary season.Can you tell that Benkiser is facing her own re-election campaign? I believe that Gina Parker has announced another challenge to Benkiser, and former Dallas GOP chairman Nate Crain is also expected to run.
After all, Benkiser was standing alongside the governor - and his prominently displayed campaign placards - applauding ebulliently as Perry ticked off the reasons that voters should return him to office next year. But the chairwoman insisted that there was no need for neutrality because Perry was the only one entered in the Republican race for governor.
Expected challenger Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the state's comptroller, has not yet plunked down her filing fee for the March 7 primary.
"Actually, we only have one declared gubernatorial candidate," Benkiser told reporters. "We are not aware of anyone else who'll be running on the primary ticket at this time."
Perhaps she should have checked her party's official Web site before making that pronouncement. She would have noticed that Larry Kilgore, who in 2004 unsuccessfully challenged state Rep. Toby Goodman of Arlington in the GOP primary, entered the governor's race Dec. 5.
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