Will she or won't she

Now she's not resigning after election day...

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Friday that she is prepared to stay in the Senate for as long as eight more months if Congress is still debating health care reform.

"I have said I am going to leave the Senate. It's the best thing for Texas for me to leave the Senate, sometime this year before the November elections," she told WBAP-AM (820) talk radio host Mark Davis. "I'm going to stay and fight health care. I promised that, so that's my first commitment, and I will do that."

But if she does, Peggy Fikac:

If Hutchison doesn't win the GOP nod and changes her mind about resigning, those who might like to run for her seat may have mixed views. I talked to some (though not Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; his spokesman said, "We're not going to focus on hypotheticals.")

"I continue to take her at her word, that (resigning) is what she is going to do, said Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams.

Texas Workforce Commission Chair Tom Pauken, who told me he'll make a quick decision about getting into a Senate race if she resigns, said, "I believe she will (resign), but I think I'm in the minority of people I talk to who believe she will."

A delayed Hutchison departure would be no problem for Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones: "My plans originally from the get-go were to run for the seat in 2012, when my term on the Railroad Commission is up, so that suits me just fine. But if it turns out it's earlier, I'll be prepared for that, too."

Former secretary of state Roger Williams, ESPN analyst Craig James and state Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, also are cited in the mix. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will take a look if she resigns.

Anna Tinsley throws Joe Barton and Greg Abbott into the mix as well. And the words John Tower special election strike fear into the hearts of Republicans everywhere right now.

Gillman's take is here, including this classic from Eppstein:

"There's what she [Hutchison] says, and what she means by what she says. Until she does it, she hasn't done it," Shapiro adviser Bryan Eppstein said by phone two days before Hutchison's WBAP comments. "It seems to be a very fluid situation."
He also tells us the money they've all raised:
Roger Williams leads the pack, with $1.26 million raised, not counting loans. Shapiro collected $960,000, edging out Jones by $20,000. Michael Williams lags, with $534,000, but he says that's because "most Republican donors have not engaged yet. ... They're waiting to make sure that there's going to be a race, and they're going to wait and see who the governor likes."

Posted by Evan @ 02/28/10 10:35 PM


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