The new leader of the Texas Republican Party wants Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to clarify if and when she plans to resign to concentrate on her bid for governor.
Cathie Adams, who was elected party chair Oct. 24, prefers that Hutchison's plans be known by Jan. 4, the candidate filing deadline for the March 2 primary.
The Jan. 4 date is noteworthy because some Republican officeholders on 2010 ballots might want to run for Hutchison's seat in a special Senate election that her resignation would spawn. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst presently is running for re-election, but he's seen as a potential candidate for Hutchison's seat.
"It would help the people of the state of Texas to know more clearly, especially by Jan. 4, because if she resigns after that, we're going to throw things into quite an unknown," Adams said, according to the Austin American Stateman.
Under Texas law, the special Senate election would be held on May 8, though Gov. Rick Perry, could invoke emergency powers to schedule it for a different date.
Hutchison said this summer that she planned to resign in October or November, though she's backed away from that schedule, saying that she wants to participate in the Senate's consideration of health care policy. In running for governor she is not required to resign from the Senate, to which she was elected in a 1993 special election and re-elected in 1994, 2000 and 2006.
At least five Republicans are presently seeking the seat: state railroad commissioners Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones; Roger Williams, a former Texas secretary of state; state Sen.Florence Shapiro; and Andrew "Cas" Castanuela, an Air Force veteran.
Republican Rep. Joe L. Barton, who represents Texas' 6th District, might also seek the seat.
Adams is supporting Perry over Hutchison in the anticipated primary.
Hunt skeptical about Leppert Senate buzz