A day on the campaign trail with Bill White

October 21, 2010 4:02:42 PM PDT
In a surprise announcement, Farouk Shami, Houston businessman and former democratic candidate for governor is endorsing Rick Perry. Shami lost the Democratic primary to Bill White. Shami cited job creation as his main reason for supporting Perry. The endorsement came as a surprise to White. On his campaign plane Monday, White said Shami pledged his support to White after the Democratic primary. It was just one of the conversations Eyewitness News had with White as we travelled the state with the Democratic candidate.

It was an exhausting day, but it's the first for an exhausting week for White. He is expected to travel to 20 different cities and 3,500 miles this week to deliver the same message -- it's time for a new governor.

Bill White has campaigned for governor since December 4. On Monday, Day 319 of this campaign, Texans finally have the chance to let him know if it's worked.

White and his wife early voted Monday morning in Houston. It was the first stop in a long day with virtually no downtime.

Waiting for the airplane at 10:15am, it was time to squeeze in his sixth radio interview of the morning.

"What are you going to do in the next couple of weeks to tighten this race?" a radio host asked White.

"The fact is this race has been called by national organizations neck and neck," White replied.

White is refusing to admit he is behind and focused on a continued assault on his opponent.

By lunchtime, White was in San Antonio, a city important for him to win. He will be there three times this week to urge voters to defy those polls.

"We can't twist anyone's arm to vote, but we can let them know we're in town and that has not happened," supporter Dan Ramos said.

White will be back in San Antonio Wednesday, but on Monday afternoon, it was on to Dallas to continue the pitch, which at this point more anti Rick Perry than necessarily pro Bill White.

"There's 24 million people in this state and most people in the state decided that they want a new governor," White said.

He seems sure Texans are ready for a change. Supporters do too.

"I think we have a shot at it, not that it's easy," White supporter Linda Bridges said.

Nothing about the close of a Texas campaign is easy. White admits he is tired. Sick, too.

But not slowing down.

On Tuesday, he plans to travel 825 more miles, two more cities and 14 days to go.

White and his team are already in San Marcos for a meeting Tuesday morning before heading back to Austin.

Eyewitness News is planning to follow Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday.


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