Campaign 2006 Updates

Ron Gunzberger is off his long hiatus and has resumed heavy posting at Politics1 again. He’s far to my Left politically but his is a must-read site for those wanting a quick update on national campaign news. The only thing missing are permalinks and links to his source articles.

Some important tidbits from the last couple of days:

Kay Bailey Hutchinson is running for re-election to the Senate rather than the Texas governorship:

US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has decided against challenging Governor Rick Perry in next year’s GOP primary, according to her campaign manager. Instead, KBH will formally kick-off her re-election campaign at a rally on on June 27. Polls showed that Hutchison — the most popular politician in the state — had a good chance of ousting Perry. With Hutchison out of the race, State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn appears to be Perry’s only major opponent for the GOP nomination. Former Congressman Chris Bell (D) and country music singer/author Kinky Friedman (Independent) are also announced candidates against Perry.

Karl Rove and Jeb Bush are apparently in cahoots to undermine Katherine Harris’ bid for the U.S. Senate:

[Friday] It appears the Bush White House, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the NRSC are combining their efforts in an attempt to cripple the US Senate run by Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R-FL). Harris last week told reporters she planned to challenge US Senator Bill Nelson (D) next year. Harris remains a highly polarizing figure because of her controversial role as Florida Secretary of State in the 2000 Presidential recount. That was the reason top national Republican leaders — reportedly with the involvement of Bush strategist Karl Rove — allegedly cut a deal with Harris two years ago to keep her out of the open 2004 US Senate race. They worried that having Harris on the ticket last year could have hurt President Bush’s re-election efforts — both in Florida and nationwide — by repeatedly creating photos ops of Bush and Harris on stage together every time the President campaigned in the state. In exchange for Harris bowing out of the hotly contested ’04 GOP primary, party leaders assured her they would give her a clear shot for the ’06 nomination against Nelson. Well … now that ’04 is history, the so-called “deal” itself also seems to be history. Numerous news reports today quote Governor Jeb Bush as one of those encouraging Florida House Speaker Allan Bense to oppose Harris in the Republican primary.


[Today] Confirmation came later when Bense himself told reporters Rove recently met with him to encourage him to seek the Senate seat.

I understand why GOP leaders want to avoid having controversial figures like Harris as the face of the party, especially in a swing state with massive electoral votes. Still, these moves often backfire. People don’t like party poobahs trying to dictate their political choices.

Mitt Romney is running for President:

Yet another sign that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) is preparing to run for President in ’08 instead of re-election in ’06: he’s moving sharply to the right. Romney on Friday abandoned his previous position of opposing gay marriage but would not object to same-sex civil unions. Now Romney is touting a proposed constitutional amendment for the Massachusetts ballot that would completely ban both gay marriage and civil unions. And last week, in case you missed it, Romney said he would support Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) as his successor if he decides to bail on the race.

Romney is an interesting guy with a solid resume. He’s certainly qualified to be president. I can’t imagine that he has a shot at the nomination, let alone the whole enchilada. The GOP field for 2008 is the deepest in years with no obvious annointed frontrunner. The Democrats have easily the best crop of potential candidates they’ve had in my memory, although it remains Hillary Clinton’s to lose.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bill says:

    My take on the Florida Senate Race is.

    1- The fear of what people think of Cong. Harris is overdone. The people who resent her actions in 2000 are not likely to vote for her in the first place.

    2- I welcome the addition of House Speaker Bense to the race. It gives the GOP voters a genuine choice rather than a coronation if Harris had no other legitimate competition.

  2. Chip says:

    Maybe the concern is not her electability per se, but rather the risk that she’ll really energize Democratic voters and hurt other Republicans on the ticket.

  3. bryan says:

    I’m glad hutchinson isn’t running for governor. She’s more valuable in the senate, where she’s unlikely to lose. She’s also got more power there. The Texas Governorship is not one of the more powerful governors offices in the nation.

    I’m surprised Perry’s even gotten any potential opposition from the Republican side.

    OTOH, I’d vote for Kinky Friedman.

  4. TJIT says:


    Watching perry’s pathetic performance on the budget and property tax relief this year I am surprised Perry has not had more potential primary opposition.

    Kinky might actually be a better governor then perry.

  5. Irky says:

    Carole Strayhorn (the current TX comptroller) is running against Perry as of today. She has a good shot.