A few happenings around the state the last couple of days are more a preview of the 2010 GOP Primary for governor than a preview of the one coming up in March. One is the recent retirement announcement of state Senator Kyle Janek, and the other is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s release of the Senate’s Interim Charges [.PDF].
This post from the conservative blog Professors R-Squared, Yet More On Jockeying To Replace Janek… , clues us in on the behind the scenes action regarding Janek’s resignation.
From the gist of our e-mail conversations, there seems to be a still-unsuccessful effort to try to attract a GOP candidate who can challenge and beat Gary Polland. The anti-Polland forces don’t think that they have anyone right now. Representative Dennis Bonnen is probably a no-go and Representative Charlie Howard is hesitant because of his House race.
Janek changed his resignation date to June 2nd, making the Special Election in November instead of May.
The official reason: Janek says that he wants to continue doing work on the interim committees.
The likely reason: At the moment, Janek’s people don’t have anybody who can beat Polland, particularly now that Polland has State Senator Dan Patrick, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, and KSEV’s Edd Hendee backing him. We’ll see if Janek’s people can scrounge up a real challenger to Polland between now and June”
What this shows is that the Texas GOP is often time now breaking up into it’s moderate and wing-nut branches in selecting candidates. As the Texas GOP comes to terms with it’s inability to govern, and attempts to hold onto power, this battle will begin raging. Sen. Dan Patrick, aka Texas Rush, is already working to get one of his surrogates into office in the Texas House, it only makes sense he’d want a minion in the Senate too.
This, more than likely, is a preview of the 2010 GOP Primary for Governor. Of course KBH is pretty much guaranteed to be running, Texas Rush is trying to set himself up on the far right. There’s rumors of AG Greg Abbott running (more likely to run for Lt. Gov.,), and former SOS Roger Williams may give it a go too. And, of course, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst will more than likely be in too. EOW thinks it all points to a primary including KBH, Texas Rush, and Dewhurst.
Ever since winning his second term Dewhurst has been trying to tack back to the right in order to win back the right wingers in the GOP, for his run for governor in ’10. He, along with just about anyone else rumored to be running for the GOP nod in ’10, will have serious trouble trying to out wing-nut Texas Rush.Â KBH is probably best positioned for the squishy middle/Republican moderate and with Texas Rush on the far right, it’s unclear what Dewhurst’s constituency would be in this three-way GOP primary.Â Which is why Dewhurst is going to try and be the big man in the legislature in ’09, especially when there’s a new speaker.
Most certainly there will be a primary battle for governor in the GOP in ’10, which is something that’s never happened with the Texas GOP since they took power. Even if Perry runs again, there will be a primary. There is no heir apparent and it will be blood bath. It’ll be like a anti-Craddick v. pro-Craddick state house primary gone statewide.