AUSTIN — Former Vice President Dick Cheney is supporting U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Texas governor's race and will formally unveil his endorsement at a Nov. 17 fundraiser in Houston.
"I am so pleased," Hutchison said on WBAP Radio in Dallas on Wednesday. "I respect the vice president so much. We've worked together. He knows my record as a conservative in the Senate."
Cheney was often depicted as a conservative hard-liner in the Bush administration and, as such, could help boost Hutchison's support among conservative activists in her bid to unseat Gov. Rick Perry in the March 2 Republican primary.
But Perry's campaign suggested that the endorsement from a Washington political figure will have little effect in swaying voters in Texas. "It's not surprising considering they both worked together in Washington for so long," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. "The Washington establishment usually sticks together."
Political analysts offered differing assessments of the potential impact.
"It’s unclear how much support he's going to draw," said Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas. "It’s clear they're trying to court conservatives, but I think conservatives in Texas have a somewhat ambivalent response to the Bush administration."
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