It was announced today that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will not seek reelection! This is the best piece of news for conservatives for a while. We always have such a difficult time electing solid constitutional conservatives in blue states or knocking off incumbent RINOs even in red states. Now, we have a golden opportunity to elect a DeMint conservative in a solid red state. The best thing is that we won't have to fight a costly and vicious primary against the entrenched RINO. We applaud Senator Hutchison for keeping her pledge to retire after this term in 2012.
Luckily, there is no lack of a Republican or conservative bench in Texas. However, as we have witnessed quite vividly, there is a big distinction between the two. We must ensure that conservatives don't split the vote and hand a solid red seat to a RINO. This is what happened in Tennessee in 2006, in which former Congressmen Ed Bryant and van Hilleary split the conservative vote, giving us RINO Bob Corker.
The first major candidate that has officially registered to run is Railroad Commissioner and former state Delegate Elizabeth Ames Jones. Another Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams, originally planned to fill the seat had Hutchison vacated it in middle of the term. It is therefore quite likely that he will officially run for the open seat and announce his intentions soon. Former Texas Sec. of State Roger Williams has also formed an exploratory committee and was planning to run even before the retirement announcement. All three candidates appear to be conservative so we must wait and see who rises to the top. There is also some chatter about Lt. Governor David Dewhurst tossing his hat into the ring. Dewhurst has built a solid reputation as a staunch border security hawk.
There is a bit of concern that Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is considering a bid for Senate. As you can imagine, the mayor of the ninth largest city in the country is not a conservative. Granted that Dallas is not nearly as bad as most major urban centers, but it is still hard to elect an authentic conservative from such a large city. There are many questions about his commitment to limited government and his stances on social issues. We shall wait and see. It is just imperative that we not squander this opportunity to elect a conservative by splitting the base vote and handing a RINO the seat. Keep in mind that the primaries are much earlier during presidential election years, so we must work to sort out the field within the next few months.