Politics & Government

Hutchison says she's staying in Senate during Texas gubernatorial race

AUSTIN — Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will announce today that she will remain in the Senate while she runs against Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 governor's race and will not resign her seat until after the March 2 Republican primary, her campaign staff said Friday.

Hutchison, who had been expected to leave the Senate before year's end, is retooling her timetable to stay in Washington to oppose President Barack Obama's health care plan and environmental legislation, campaign spokesman Joe Pounder said.

Hutchison’s decision could complicate the state’s 2010 political picture. Many politicians have made their plans based on the expectation that Hutchison would resign this year, resulting in a special Senate election that would create openings for other offices as well.

Hutchison, whose six-year term ends Jan. 3, 2013, is not required to resign to run for governor. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain remained in the Senate while running for the presidency in 2008.

Hutchison will officially announce her plans today at a convention of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. But news of her intentions ricocheted around Texas political circles Friday.

In excerpts of her speech released by her campaign, Hutchison said: "I am more determined than ever to become the 48th governor of the great state of Texas. But at the same time I must put what’s best for my campaign aside and do what is best for our state. That is why I must stay in the Senate while running for the Republican nomination for governor."

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