Hutchison planning to run for governor

WASHINGTON The Corpus Christi Caller Times reported that Hutchison spokesman Matt Mackowiak said last week that she was planning to run for governor in 2010. Hutchison has earlier said she was "considering" a run for governor.

Mackowiak declined comment Monday when asked by The Associated Press about the remark.

She is serving her third term, which ends in 2012, and has said it will be her last.

Bryan Eppstein, a consultant to Hutchison, said the senator has said nothing new about her future. He referred to a statement she made Friday saying she would not make a formal announcement on her intentions until after this November's elections.

"The statements that carry the most weight are the statements from the senator herself," Eppstein said. "No one in Texas assumes she's not running. Everyone assumes she's running. There's a kind of a groundswell to recruit Kay Bailey to run," Eppstein said.

Republican consultant Bill Miller agreed.

"It basically qualifies as the worst kept secret in Texas," Miller said. "She's going to be a candidate. She's the most popular elected official in the state and she's a formidable foe for anybody. It's clear to me and to others she's running."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is eligible to run for another term.

Hutchison considered taking on Perry in 2004, but decided against what would then be a divisive primary battle.

But if she runs in 2010, "there's not anyone who could really make a case to me that this would be divisive for the Republican Party in a way that would make me step back," Hutchison has said.

Asked about Perry's possible run for a fourth term last week, Hutchison said, "Whatever. I'm just going to do what I'm going to do," according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hutchison's name has also been tossed about as a possible running mate to Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Hutchison has said she's not seeking the job, but wouldn't turn it down if asked to join the ticket.

McCain recently suggested she'd be better suited as the state's governor. The Dallas Morning News reported that while McCain was flying from Houston to Austin, he greeted Hutchison with "Governor, good to see you." The newspaper said she responded with: "I like the sound of that," and a smile.

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