One Independent Strayhorn

AP, on Strayhorn dropping "Republican" from her ads:

Apparently trying to bolster her image as an independent in the race for governor, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn has dropped the label "Republican" in her latest television commercial.

Strayhorn's first television ad explained that she was still a Republican but had "decided to put partisan politics aside to run for governor as an independent."

In a new version of the ad that began airing this week, she leaves out the word, "Republican." She calls herself an "independent Texan" who wants to put "principle above politics" and "cut property taxes and fix our schools."

Did polls show voters to be confused? Does this signal a shift in strategy? Does Strayhorn think she can become the de facto Democratic nominee?

Perhaps Clay Robison's report is a clue? I don't know.

Strayhorn also met last week with the Texas AFL-CIO's executive committee, which made no recommendations in any statewide races, said AFL-CIO spokesman Ed Sills. Endorsements, if any, will be made at the Committee on Political Education convention in May.

All statewide candidates were invited to meet with the committee, but the only gubernatorial candidates who did were Strayhorn and Democrats Chris Bell, Bob Gammage and Felix Alvarado, a school administrator from Fort Worth.


Some individual unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Texas State Association of Firefighters and several police organizations, have endorsed Perry. Not all are affiliated with the Texas AFL-CIO. and those that are aren't bound by the state AFL-CIO's endorsements.

Sills said he didn't think the umbrella Texas AFL-CIO has ever endorsed a Republican for statewide office, but he couldn't predict what might happen this year.

"I don't have a good read on it. I think the 2006 election presents unique circumstances," he said.

For starters, two candidates Strayhorn and humorist Kinky Friedman are running for governor as independents. And Strayhorn, so far, is second in fundraising only to Perry.

Sanders said Strayhorn is seeking the "support of every hard-working Texan out there."

Spokesmen for Bell and Gammage, two former congressmen from Houston, said they weren't ready to write off labor's endorsement. And each predicted significant support from rank-and-file workers, regardless of which candidate, if any, the AFL-CIO endorses.

It's hard for me to believe that a few months ago, I thought this was going to be a dull race. Because it's a four way race (assuming it is), there's plenty of fluidity to the situation.

Posted by Evan @ 01/19/06 02:59 PM


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