Kay Bailey Hutchinson To Run For Texas Governor, Leaving Few Republican Moderates

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Kay Bailey, we'll miss you! Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson has made public her plans to leave Washington, D.C. and return to her home state of Texas to campaign for governor:

In an interview Wednesday on WBAP-AM of Fort Worth and Dallas, Hutchison said she wants to stay in the Senate long enough to fight President Barack Obama's healthcare plan. She said her departure will be some time in "October, November, in that time frame."

Sen. Hutchison represents a vanishing breed of moderate Republicans whose disappearance is turning the GOP into the Party of No. She's seen by right-wing conservatives as pro-choice, even though she has a more nuanced opinion on abortion rights. She's seen by liberals as anti-choice. That places her squarely in the murky middle occupied by the vast majority of mainstream voters:

Hutchison can be a moderate on some social issues such as abortion and stem cell research, but is a hard-line fiscal conservative who supported all of President George W. Bush's tax cuts and more. One of her biggest issues in the Senate has been trying to overturn the "marriage penalty," which causes some married couples to pay more taxes when filing jointly than they would if each person filed seperately [sic].

She'll need to spend a lot of time building up a muscled campaign warchest. As a moderate, she's going to have to convince a lot of Texas GOP primary voters NOT to vote for Gov. Rick Perry, a social conservative. Best of luck, Kay Bailey!

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By Bonnie Erbe