In the old west, two fierce rivals would gather on opposite ends of a dusty street, itchy trigger fingers at the ready. Whoever was the faster, more accurate shooter won, generally with grave consequences for the loser. There aren’t many old west-style dusty streets left in Texas these days, but there is a showdown nonetheless in the race to be the next executive of the Lone Star State, and it’s a shootout.
The Republican party has reigned in Texas since a major upheaval in the 1990s saw them sweep Democrats right out of all the statewide offices. They control the State Legislature, and in a state where judges are elected, the Courts as well. In the many elections since their take over, never before have two heavyweight Republican fought it out for the same high profile statewide office, but this year’s GOP primary features successful, longtime governor, Rick Perry versus the state’s most popular U.S. Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison who is returning from Washington to challenge Perry.
The campaign is seen, at least in part, as a battle between Rick Perry’s conservatism and Kay Bailey Hutchsion’s more moderate politics, a battle playing out in a larger way in the Repubulican party nationally, and in other GOP primaries across the country, perhaps most notably in the Marco Rubio versus Charlie Crist fight for the US Senate in Florida. Senator Hutchison has faced questions about her more moderate stances in Washington, like her pro-choice position on abortion, and has countered with the mantra that change is needed. Governor Perry has been criticized for toll road proposals but can hang his hat on a successful, fiscally and socially conservative state and ask, “if it ain’t broke why fix it.” The battle for the GOP crown in Texas though, looked like a better bet for Hutchison when it was in it’s infancy in the closing months of 2008.
Just more than a year ago, this race looked like an uphill climb for Perry. The polls showed Hutchison with a lead and the press was asking, “Has Perry served too long?” The Republican party in Texas began splitting along divides, “Rick vs. Kay, who’s side are you on?” The momentum seemed to be in her court. Then the tide began to turn.
The whole blog is definitely worth reading, so go check it out (link). For anyone who is just now starting to pay attention this is a great summation of things... it will bring you up to speed about how Rick went from way down to way up in the polls in the span of a year...