Early voting underway in Texas primaries

Former Houston Mayor Bill White cast his ballot this morning.

February 16, 2010 9:27:36 AM PST
Former Houston Mayor Bill White came home to cast his ballot for the March primaries. He and the other candidates for governor are hitting the trail on this, the first day of early voting. With the start of early voting, the Texas governor's race and others now enter a two-week sprint to the finish line on March 2. Accompanied by his wife and daughter, White voted early in the Democratic primary today, and expressed confidence in his campaign.

"People in this state are ready for positive change, and to move this state forward," he said. "And they're ready for something new in Austin. They're ready for government with integrity and they're tired he parsing gridlock that you've been seeing in Austin."

White says he's not taking the primary for granted, but is counting on voters remembering his six years of work as mayor in Houston.

"To me, he's by far the best candidate," said one voter with whom we spoke. "But we'll see."

To get there, White has to beat out a handful of Democratic challengers, the most prominent being Houston businessman Farouk Shami. Meanwhile, incumbent Governor Rick Perry is locked in a bitter campaign against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a fight that's gotten the attention of Republican primary voters. Several told us they'd like both Perry and Hutchison to stay where they are.

"I just voted in the Republican primary," said voter Ramsey Gillman. "I hope to see the incumbent win, and hope Kay Bailey Hutchison stays a senator, representing Texas because I think she does a good job."

Hutchison and her husband cast their ballots early Monday at a Dallas church.

Hutchison trails Governor Perry in polling ahead of the GOP primary. Debra Medina is also in the race.

Early voting runs through Feb. 26. Find your early voting location.