It's official: Mayor White running for Senate

HOUSTON He made the announcement in a video on Tuesday afternoon. He plans to seek the expected open seat for Senate currently held by Kay Bailey Hutchison.

In the 2 minute video, he outlined why he's running for Senate. He said he primarily wants to focus on energy issues. White was deputy energy secretary under President Bill Clinton, so he has experience in the field.

We asked him why he chose a run at the U.S. Senate rather than governor.

"Well, I'm flattered by the fact that people want to run me for different offices," said Mayor White. "But Miya, a lot of our issues in Texas and the city of Houston, for that matter, involve federal issues like how do we deal with uninsured people who have healthcare needs? We've been dealing with UTMB over the last couple of weeks."

After the announcement, Mayor White left city hall to go to the Valley, where he will meet with Hispanic supporters, one of the key voting groups he'll need if he's successful.

Mayor White enters an already-crowded field. Others who have announced plans to run for Hutchison's seat in 2012 or sooner are Democratic former Texas Comptroller John Sharp, Railroad Commissioners Michael Commissioner and Elizabeth Ames Jones and Republican fund-raiser Roger Williams, who's a former Texas secretary of state.

Hutchison has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor in 2010. If she leaves her Senate seat before her term ends in 2012, the governor would appoint a replacement until a special election is held.

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