Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced Thursday she won’t seek reelection, ending the uncertainty that had largely frozen a slate of Republicans contenders itching to replace her.
In a statement, the three-term Republican who first won a special election in 1993, said her decision “would give the people of Texas ample time to consider who my successor will be.”
“I intended to leave this office long before now, but I was persuaded to continue in order to avoid disadvantage to our state. The last two years have been particularly difficult, especially for my family, but I felt it would be wrong to leave the Senate during such a critical period,” Hutchison said.
“Instead of putting my seat into a special election, I felt it was my duty to use my experience to fight the massive spending that has increased our national debt; the government takeover of the our health care system; and the growth of the federal bureaucracy, which threatens our economy. I will continue that fight until the end of my term in 2012,” she continued.
I’ve had more than my fair share of fun at her expense over this excessively drawn-out drama. What can I say? The jokes wrote themselves. In the end, she proved me wrong. That’s the way it goes sometimes.
Anyway. The Trib has a copy of her letter, which brings the state’s longest-running soap opera to a close. Look for the floodgates to open soon, though a couple of potential big players – Dewhurst and Abbott, in particular – will likely play it cool until the legislative session is over, unless they plan to rule themselves out. This announcement ought to also clear the way for Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, who’s been playing his own “will I or won’t I?” game lately, to make his intentions officially known. I imagine we’ll be hearing from John Sharp in the near future, too. Sure hope you’ve recovered from the 2010 election, because 2012 just got underway.