1. The AP does some mini-profiles on the unknowns in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primaries: Larry Kilgore, Star Locke, Rhett Smith, and Rashad Jafer.
2. More AP, from KTRK, on Rick Perry's speech at CPAC.
"The public expects Democrats to spend because that's what they do," Perry said. "On the other hand, they elect Republicans to stop that from happening, and if Republicans keep spending like Democrats, the public will elect the real thing."Oblique shot at his former ticket-mate? Hmm.
Perry, who is seeking re-election and has minor opposition in the March 7 primary, counted himself as a Republican who has stayed true to conservative principles of less government and limited spending.
"It seems as if conservatives won the war at the ballot box and then let the opposition keep most of the land," Perry said. Some supporters put President Bush in that category.
Perry told the crowd conservatism is not about dismantling government but making the right investments in the right priorities -- such as border security.
"How many more Border Patrol agents could have been placed on the border if Congress lived with just 13,000 earmarks instead of the 14,000 contained in legislation in 2004?" Perry asked referring to what some call "pork" in federal spending bills.
3. Tinsley at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes on Strayhorn and Friedman's desire to have people not vote in the primaries. Those independents are awfully lucky Felix Alvarado's check bounced him off the Democratic primary ballot.
4. Why not have one more AP story?
A Republican audience applauds as Gov. Rick Perry lists his achievements: luring businesses to Texas, requiring parental consent for abortions, banning gay marriage.Strayhorn's best hope is that the Democratic nominee polls so low that Democrats vote for her, seeing her as the credible alternative to Perry.
With the help of a teleprompter, he delivers a carefully worded speech at each stop on his campaign kickoff trek across Texas. Behind the scenes, aides choreograph coming events, arrange for television ads and mail fundraising letters.
It's early in this election year, and Perry is the incumbent in President Bush's red home state, yet he's leaving nothing to chance. Even with the backing of the GOP establishment and only minor opposition in his March 7 primary, he's already campaigning hard for re-election.
Strayhorn said Perry's early intensity is aimed at her.
"He knows we've got a two-person, a real race here. I am going to win this race," she said. "I love it. I have never been happier in my political life."
Indeed, in almost gleeful fashion, Strayhorn constantly criticizes Perry over what she says is his failure to lead the state in solving school finance and improving children's health care.
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