Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hollis Rutledge sums it up...

The Rio Grande Guardian spoke with Hollis Rutledge and got his thoughts on the Rick vs. Kay match up (link). Excerpt follows...

MISSION, Jan. 9 - Outgoing Hidalgo County Republican Party Chair Hollis Rutledge has come just about as close to endorsing Gov. Rick Perry for re-election as he can without actually doing so.

“I think that this present governor has done a tremendous job at the helm,” Rutledge told the Guardian. “Out of the six solvent states in the union we are number one out of those six. There has to be a compelling reason for us to not vote for Perry and there ain’t none.”

Rutledge made his comments at the Mission office of his governmental consultancy firm, Hollis Rutledge & Associates, while announcing he would not be running for re-election.

Rutledge has served as leader of the GOP in one of the strongest Democratic counties in the state for the past 12 years. As a party chair he feels he cannot endorse one Republican over another. Other party chairs feel they can make an endorsement. Cameron County Republican Party Chair Frank Morris, for example, has endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison for governor.

Rutledged relinquishes the reins at the Hidalgo County Republican Party in May. He said he plans to resurrect the Pachyderms Political Action Committee he started some years ago with GOP colleague Chris Brisack in order to raise funds for national and statewide Republican candidates. One of those candidates could be Perry.

“I plan to be involved a lot in the governor’s race (after May),” Rutledge said. “I think the governor has done an excellent job in spite of the economic situation. He has been able to retain a comfortable rainy day fund and balance our budget. We did tort reform. We have been able to live within our means. Last year we generated more jobs in Texas than all the other states in the union combined. That tells you the state of the state in Texas is quite healthy compared to the rest of the union. That has a lot to say about the governor and the rest of the leadership we have in Austin.”

Rutledge served for eight years as president of the Texas Republican County Chairmen's Association. In this capacity he got to know most of the GOP county party chairs across the state. He said that based on his research the vast majority of those chairs are backing Perry for re-election over U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who is trying to unseat the governor.

Hollis as usually gets right to the heart of things...

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.