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  Vote to replace Hutchison may cost $30 million
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Last EditedRBH  Sep 11, 2009 12:48am
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AuthorR. G. Ratcliffe
MediaNewspaper - Houston Chronicle
News DateFriday, September 11, 2009 05:30:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionIf U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison resigns her seat to run against Gov. Rick Perry next year, it could cost Texas taxpayers up to $30 million to hold a special election to fill out her term, state election officials said Thursday.

Secretary of State Hope Andrade, a Perry appointee, in a letter to a conservative advocacy group said the cost of a special election would be $18 million to $20 million, with another $10 million in expenses needed if a runoff is required. Andrade is Texas' top election official.

Perry's campaign seized on the estimate to accuse Hutchison of possibly wasting taxpayer dollars for personal gain.

“The senator's potential resignation to run for governor amounts to nothing more than another taxpayer-funded bailout, only this one benefits one person's political ambition, leaving Texas taxpayers holding the bill,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner.

Hutchison spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said Andrade's estimate was a “political ploy” by a Perry appointee designed to “bully” Hutchison out of the race. Baker noted that Perry's aides have asked several university regents to resign for supporting Hutchison, and that one from Texas Tech had complied.
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