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.
Here’s what I told my law partner in Denver:
Under Texas election law, the governor makes an interim appointment whenever a Senate vacancy occurs. In most states, an interim appointee serves until the next general election (that’s the case in Illinois and Delaware, where appointees currently hold the seats vacated by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden).
But not so in Texas. That appointee can serve only until a special election that generally would be called within three to four months. The last three times a Texas Senate seat has been filled by an interim appointee, the appointee wound up losing the ensuing special election.
Texas uses the Louisiana-style primary for special elections. Anyone can run, regardless of party, and the top two finishers face off in a runoff if no one receives at least 50.1 percent in the first election.
It seems like Kay just is cursed with terrible timing. This year is just not a good year for her. People are mad as hell and they are not going to take it any more... she does not fit that type of need for a good public speaker who can rile people up about the problems facing our country... this timing is bad for the party though not just her... Democrats do have a strong candidate with Bill White... he can raise money, and he is not to be taken lightly. An adult also needs to have a heart to heart with a few of the possible GOP candidates to tell them not to run...
Could it be Big John Cornyn? He does seem concerned about what might happen (link). Excerpt follows...
Cornyn, the head of Republicans' Senate campaign efforts, signaled that he's getting ready for a Hutchison resignation.
"The most important concern I have is about what happens in that special election, which it looks like it may be in May 2010," he said during an interview on MSNBC.
Cornyn said he'll stay neutral in the sure-to-be contentious primary in his home state, focusing instead on the open Senate seat the GOP will have to defend.
"This is an open special election, which last time Texas had something like this, Texas was a blue state in 1961 and John Tower, a Republican, was able to win under the circumstances," Cornyn said.
"So as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and as somebody who's worried about our diminished numbers here, I want to make sure that doesn't happen next year," he added.
Big John is obviously not thrilled to have tens of millions of dollars siphoned off into a schoolyard fight between our start QB and our star running back... we need to be together, fighting our rivals from the next town over...
Even the Houston Chronicle made some points supporting this (link)...
Here's some of the reasons why it makes little sense for her to resign:
1. Advice in a down economy: It's always easier to get a job if you have a job.
2. Incumbent advantage. The biggest is that an incumbent has an easier time raising money than a non-incumbent. If you don't believe me, just ask Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer.
3. The timing of her planned resignation coincides with Congress taking its end of the year break. So she won't be needed in Washington until after Jan. 1 anyway. So you're really only talking about her doing double duty in January and February.
4. A resignation gives Perry the opportunity to name Hutchison's interim replacement. During the days it takes Perry to make that decision, the focus is on him and it shows he's the man in charge.
5. Forget this idea that there will be a May special election to fill out her term through 2012.
Kay has really screwed the pooch by not resigning long ago...