Strayhorn, Friedman Gain Endorsements

Some good news for both independent candidates in the Texas gubernatorial race…

The two independents running for governor each boasted Wednesday that they had the backing of two prominent Texans — one with deep pockets and the other with deep roots in Texas music — and both with close ties to the Democratic Party.

Author and entertainer Kinky Friedman unveiled a radio commercial featuring country music icon Willie Nelson, who said the candidate “will get the politicians out of politics.” Nelson also said he plans to sign Friedman’s petition to ensure that his name will appear on the Texas ballot.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the state comptroller who shed her ties to the Republican Party to run as an independent in January, announced that Tony Sanchez, the Democratic nominee for the governor in 2002, has signed her own petition. The Laredo banker and oil baron, who spent more than $65 million of his own money on an unsuccessful challenge of Republican Gov. Rick Perry four years ago, called Strayhorn a “friend for over 20 years.”
Each independent candidate needs to collect 45,540 signatures from registered voters who did not participate in GOP or Democratic primaries by April 11 to qualify for the November ballot.

In his radio ad, Nelson calls Friedman a friend of biodiesel fuels who would promote the development of the technology that he said would help wean Texas from its dependence on crude oil.

“I support Kinky, and I support biodiesel fuel, because they can give us two things we desperately need in Texas: clean energy and clean government,” said Nelson, whose 60-second ad will be played 60,000 times on 150 radio stations across Texas.

At a news conference in front of a south Austin store selling environmentally friendly products, Friedman applauded Nelson for running his tour bus exclusively on biodiesel fuel. And he promised to convert the state fleet to biodiesel if he becomes governor. But Friedman acknowledged that his own vehicle is not equipped for the alternative fuel source.

“I don’t have one [a biodiesel vehicle], but I will soon,” Friedman said.

Strayhorn, who also announced that former Texas House Speaker Rayford Price has signed her petition, said her campaign is cutting across the traditional party lines that often divide Texans. Price, like Strayhorn a Democrat-turned-Republican, served a brief tenure as speaker in 1972.
“Republicans, Democrats and independent signers are all Texans who care about the future of Texas and know that Carole Keeton Strayhorn will shake up state government in Austin,” she said.

But the Perry camp cast the announcement as further evidence that Strayhorn has rejoined the Democratic Party, which she left in the 1980s to seek office as a Republican.

Sanchez and Strayhorn are “just two peas in a pod,” said Perry spokesman Robert Black. “It takes a Democrat to know a Democrat.”

A spokesman for Democratic nominee Chris Bell called Sanchez’s decision to side with Strayhorn “mildly disappointing.” But he said the news would likely mean more to political insiders than ordinary voters. Before running in 2002 as a Democrat, Sanchez was a generous contributor to President Bush when he ran for governor in 1994 and 1998 and in the 2000 presidential campaign.
The Strayhorn camp said it was not known whether Sanchez’s backing this cycle would come with any campaign contributions.

Nelson, an Abbott native with a populist streak, has ties to the Democrats dating to the 1970s, when he performed in President Carter’s White House. In 2004, he campaigned actively for U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

One Response to “Strayhorn, Friedman Gain Endorsements”

  1. Stop Kinky Says:

    Kinky Friedman has voted just once in the last 12 years, and that was when he voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004. Kinky explained, “I was for Bush in 2004 … he’s a good man.” Kinky has also run (unsuccessfully) for public office as a Republican in the past.

    Kinky complains about “the Ten Commandments being taken out of the public schools” and says, “I want them back, they belong there.” Kinky also says “I’ll tell you right now. I’m for prayer in school.”

    When asked about his position on women’s rights, Kinky says “I’m not pro-life, and I’m not pro-choice. I’m pro-football!” Even CNN’s reporter had to exclaim, “Now that’s evasive, man, that’s evasive.”

    To secure the Texas-Mexico border, Kinky proposes his “Five Mexican Generals” plan: “Friedman again outlined his Mexican generals policy, whereby he would divide the Texas-Mexico border into precincts, stationing a Mexican general in each precinct. Each general would be given $1 million and the account would be drawn against every time an illegal immigrant is captured and returned to Mexico.”

    TWe gotta stop this Kinky nonsense!

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