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  Texas Senate seat within Democrats' reach
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ContributorMonsieur 
Last EditedMonsieur  Aug 03, 2009 10:15am
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CategoryElection Guide
AuthorFmr. Rep. Martin Frost
News DateMonday, August 3, 2009 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionI received an e-mail from one of my law partners in Denver recently asking me about Houston Mayor Bill White, who was in town raising money. Basically, my partner wanted to know who White is and why he is running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat in a reliably Republican state for a vacancy that did not yet exist.

The answer is that White may be the next Fred Smith, the founder of the revolutionary package shipping company FedEx, who correctly saw opportunity when no one else did. White started running a year ago for a vacancy that would occur if Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison finally acted on her off-again, on-again desire to run for governor of Texas in 2010, and if she decided to resign her seat early in order to seek the Republican nomination against incumbent Gov. Rick Perry.

Though not required to resign her Senate seat to make the governor’s race, Hutchison last week confirmed that she will do just that this fall. Thus, there will be a vacancy that will be filled first with an interim appointment and then by the winner of a special election next spring.

What gives White a legitimate shot are the intricacies of Texas election law, which are little understood outside the boundaries of the Lone Star State. If you don’t think Texas election law is complicated, just ask Hillary Clinton about her experience in the primary/caucus system during the 2008 presidential campaign.
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