Cheney endorses Hutchison for governor

November 17, 2009 5:17:05 PM PST
U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was in Houston Tuesday for a big night. She's collecting the endorsement of former Vice President Dick Cheney in her race for governor of Texas. The pair arrived at Hobby Airport on Tuesday afternoon. There is some pretty serious political fire power here. A U.S. Senator jets in fresh from Washington to join the most recent vice president of the United States to collect his endorsement.

"Texas has no stronger or more effective advocate than Kay Bailey Hutchison," said Cheney.

He may have left office as one of the most unpopular vice presidents ever, but in the March 2010 race for Republican primary votes in Texas, Cheney is still popular with conservatives.

"Whether people liked or disliked the administration, he brings a sense of leadership that shows that Sen. Hutchison is well-respected," said Judy Dubose, a Hutchison supporter.

A poll out last week showed Hutchison down 11 points to Governor Rick Perry overall. But with conservative primary voters, she was down 22 points. So Cheney's conservative coattails may help some, but will only get her so far in a race against the incumbent.

"It darn sure doesn't work in Texas," said Gov. Perry.

The governor has made a national name for himself as a conservative flag bearer.

"It's very hard to get right of Rick Perry, for sure during a campaign season. So I think it's going to be very difficult for her," said Court Koennig, Republican Campaign Strategist.

Koennig is not working for either candidate in this election and to his eye, the important thing here is that it may get people talking about her politics and not her schedule, even if she isn't perceived as more conservative than Gov. Perry. That isn't a debate about when she is going to quit the Senate, which up until now has dominated the campaign.

"She has to do this in order to change the debate. Right now the debate is, 'Kay, when are you going to resign?' And we've seen when that's the debate what the poll numbers are doing," said Koennig.

Sen. Hutchison reminded her supporters Tuesday evening why she is staying in Washington to fight health care reform as well as cap-and-trade.

As for Gov. Perry, his spokesperson told us the governor is not surprised by the endorsement since the senator and vice president have spent many years working in Washington. He maintained that he is the only true conservative in the race.

There are several Democrats also running for Texas governor. That includes Kinky Friedman and Houston businessman Farouk Shami, the Chi USA hair care owner who is expected to announce his candidacy later this week.


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