Texas Gov. Race Gets More Interesting

Next year’s race for Texas governor keeps getting more and more interesting.

To start with we have an independent candidate (Kinky Friedman) who has regularly polled near and even above the 20% mark… but first he must get on the ballot by navigating an expensive and difficult ballot access situation.

Now there’s talk that the major Republican primary challenger to Gov. Rick Perry, Comptroller Carole K. Strayhorn, might bolt from her party and launch an independent campaign of her own.

Perry, a West Texan who’s been governor since late 2000, is poised to ask voters for a four-year term that would make him the longest-serving governor in state history. Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn announced as a Republican hopeful in June, though speculation has rippled that she might attempt to run as an independent — a move potentially enabling her to postpone a Perry showdown from March to November.

Also, a previously uninteresting Democratic primary has added a new serious candidate in former Texas Supreme Court justice Bob Gammage. The wrinkle?

A more crowded field of Democratic aspirants raises the possibility of an April runoff between the top finishers in March. That could inadvertently halve the time independent gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman of Kerrville has to raise more than 45,000 voter signatures he needs to make the November ballot.

By law, independent candidates cannot gather signatures from registered voters who haven’t participated in party primaries until after the major parties are done selecting their nominees for the desired office.

Laura Stromberg, spokeswoman for Friedman’s campaign, said that if there’s a gubernatorial runoff, Friedman will have to wait until April 12 to start raising signatures, rather than starting at midnight the day of the March primary.

“No question, ideally we’d prefer there be no runoff and we have the full 60 days to collect signatures. But if that doesn’t happen, we’ll do our very best; we’re confident that we’ll get on the ballot,” Stromberg said.

Source: the Austin American-Statesman.

9 Responses to “Texas Gov. Race Gets More Interesting”

  1. Joe Says:

    I happened to speak to the state chairman of the Constitution Party of Texas yesterday, and they are gunning a candidate for governor as well. His name is David Martinez, but I don’t know anything about him and he doesn’t have a website yet.

  2. Rock Howard Says:

    The Libertarian Party has ballot status in Texas. To my knowledge the only announced candidate for Governor is James Werner of Austin. Mr. Werner previously ran for US Rep in District 25. He is an outstanding and well-spoken candidate who I have had the pleasure to interview on camera for the local parties’ cable-access TV show. He has won my support unless a demonstrable stronger candidate emerges in the next two weeks.

  3. IndiPol Says:

    I am on the CP of Texas e-mail distribution list and haven’t seen anything regarding CP ballot access petition initiatives. Will the CP of Texas try to get party line ballot access this Spring? It doesn’t really seem to help the CP cause to run candidates without the party line on ballots. And I don’t even know what the requirements are for write-in candidates for Governor.

  4. IndiPol Says:

    ps I would jump allegiance to Stryhorn if she decided to run as an Independent. She is a pragamatic, common sensical and independently spoken candidate.

  5. Joey Dauben Says:

    Indipol, what CP chapter was that again?

    I continually receive the statewide and national CP alerts in my inbox, and to show impartiality, I receive them from the LP, Democratic Party, and GOP as well. Even several other state parties, but I can assure you that the CP (not speaking as a member or anything) has done nothing but promote its ballot access drive in the Spring.

    It’s an under-the-radar attempt, I’m guessing. Of course, I base that off of the zero media coverage the CP is obtaining.

    Strayhorn is a liberal Democrat, don’t be swayed any other way.

    And she will face off against Perry in the primary. To do otherwise would be political suicide. Larry Kilgore - larrykilgore.com - is the ONLY REPUBLICAN to have even filed for the gubernatorial race thus far (you wouldn’t know that by the media coverage though).

    Chris Bell, Bob Gammage, Felix Alvarado are the Democrats.

    Kinky is the indy.

    Kilgore is the Republican.

    And Rick & Carole have yet to file. She was in town yesterday and gave radio interviews saying she was definitely running in the primary.

    Thanks for the CP gubernatorial nominee info though.

  6. Joey Dauben Says:

    Clarification: I’m on the statewide (Texas) CP list, as well as the Democratic, Republican and LP.

    Bryan Malatesta, the state chair, writes excessively long e-mail alerts, so maybe that’s why you haven’t seen or read anything on the ballot drive.

    Not to sound rude, just pointing out…

    And hey, would CP signers and Kinky signers be allowed to sign both? That would be an interesting question to ask…


  7. Joe Says:

    Anybody who has questions or concerns about the Constitution Party of Texas can contact Contact: Bryan Malatesta
    Email:[email protected] Address: P.O. Box 290730 Kerrville, TX 78029
    Phone: 866-CPTEXAS He has always been good at getting back to me.

    It is hard for me to imagine a candidate that agrees with the Constitution Party platform more than Kilgore, so I was surprised when Bryan told me they were going to run their own candidate - especially without ballot access.

  8. indiepol Says:

    Joey, thanks for the info. I receive Maltesta’s verbose e-mails and it is possible I missed ballot access organizational comments in them. Sometimes his e-mails appear as versions of earlier ones and I may have assumed no new info was included. Mostly the Texas CP e-mails I’ve received lately are recruiting for candidates. I am just glad to see another party organizing in Texas. Good question on whether registered voters can sign petitions for both a party and an independent candidate. I think I remember seeing in the Texas election code that you could sign both, but don’t quote me on it. As for Strayhorn I’d like to think she is more of a Teddy Roosevelt Progressive Republican than liberal Democrat. I am aware of her family’s lineage. Remember Perry was a Democrat too, before switching.

  9. IndiPol Says:

    I haven’t found anything in the TX election code indicating you can sign a petition for a independent candidate AND a party petition. But I did see that you can’t sign for two different parties or two different independent candidates for the same office. And also the “no voting in the primaries” is effective for both petitions.

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