Tag Archives: Texas governor’s office

Take this vow from Patrick with much salt

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he’ll never run for governor against Greg Abbott.

Not only that, he says he’s not going to run for governor ever.


Do I believe him? Is this the final word on the subject?

I remain a bit dubious about this disavowal of any further political ambition. As for the finality, do not bet anything, not a nickel, that we’ve heard the last of it.

As lieutenant governor, Patrick presides over the Texas Senate. As governor, Abbott is the state’s chief executive. Patrick’s conservative agenda is well-known. So is his rather meteoric temperament. Abbott’s conservative credentials also are beyond question. However, there are times when he doesn’t seem as fervently conservative as Patrick.

I hear what Patrick says today about his political ambition. However, these things can and do change.

There’s just something about Patrick that makes me wonder whether he’s telling us the whole truth.

The late U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen once told me he wouldn’t accept a vice-presidential spot on the Democratic Party ticket in 1988. Then he did.

The late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy said he wouldn’t seek the presidency in 1968. Then he did.

I believe Dan Patrick is capable of changing his mind.


Davis's political future is clouded … at best

This is tough for a Texas liberal such as yours truly to acknowledge, but a well-known political observer is likely correct about Wendy Davis’s future in state politics.

She doesn’t appear to have one.


Texas Monthly blogger Paul Burka notes in a brief post that Davis, a Democrat, managed to parlay a thought-to-be-competitive governor’s race in 2014 into a rout — for the Republican, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott.

Her loss in the governor’s race was worse than the percentage Tony Sanchez rang up against Rick Perry in 2002. Hey, whatever happened to Sanchez?

Burka said Davis is making some noise about seeking another public office. Where? Doing what?

I’m not prone to piling on here, but Davis ought to take a bit of a break from seeking to serve in some public capacity. She is a lawyer, after all, and she can kick-start a private practice in Tarrant County.

I was one of those Texans who had hope that Davis at least could make a race of the contest for governor. She entered the campaign with the wind at her back. She then managed to do a 180 and turned a tailwind into a headwind. Her campaign never got traction.

She lost the contest by 20-some percentage points.

Should she run again? No, Wendy. No!

At least not for a while.



Abuse of power allegation may spell trouble

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is looking and sounding more and more like a candidate for president in 2016.

That is, unless he gets indicted by a Travis County grand jury for abusing the power of his office.

If he faces criminal charges, all bets are off for the lame-duck governor.


The panel is expected to decide soon whether Perry abused his power when he vetoed money for the Travis County district attorney’s office after DA Rosemary Lehmberg pleaded guilty to drunken driving. Perry demanded her resignation, which was justified, given that the DA lost her moral authority to prosecute drunken drivers.

Then he allegedly went a step too far by threatening to veto $7.5 million that was earmarked for the Travis County DA’s public integrity unit, which is charged with investigating charges of ethical lapses by state officials.

Oh, did I mention that Lehmberg is a Democrat and Perry is a Republican? That distinction seems to matter.

Lehmberg refused to quit and Perry pulled the money.

Now he’s being investigated for abusing his power.

So, what does this mean for his budding presidential campaign? Plenty. He cannot possibly campaign as a Mr. Clean Governor if he’s about to stand trial for a felony offense related to the performance of the office he’s occupied since The Flood.

Then again, if the grand jury no-bills the governor — which of course is a possibility — then he’s back in the presidential sweepstakes once again.

But if the indictment arrives, well, if you’ll pardon the expression: Oops.

Sen. Davis good to go … for governor?

I’m wrong about these things more often than I’m right, but it’s looking to me as though Wendy Davis is going to run for Texas governor next year.

The Fort Worth Democratic state senator will make her plans known on Oct. 3.

What’s interesting to me is the suspense she is building into the announcement. See the link here:


If she were to announce that she is going to seek re-election to her Senate seat, my hunch is that she’d just say so: “I’ve decided, after careful consideration and prayer, that I will not be a candidate for governor and will seek re-election to Senate District 10 and will seek to continue to serve my Fort Worth constituents.”

There. That would be it. Over and done.

But she’s asking her supporters to spread the word to others who they think would like to be the “first to know” her plans.

That feels to me as though a run for governor is in the wind.

All the excitement in this contest so far has been on the Republican side. Attorney General Greg Abbott is the odds-on favorite to be nominated by the GOP over former state Republican Party chairman Tom Pauken of Dallas. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Pauken personally for more than 25 years and I am pulling for him to at least make a contest of his party’s primary fight.)

It could be that the excitement quotient is going to shift dramatically toward the Democratic primary if Wendy Davis answers the bell. Davis burst onto the national scene with her dramatic filibuster of an anti-abortion bill in the waning hours of the Legislature’s first special session.

Will she win next fall?

That remains the multimillion-dollar question, given that’s how much it’s going to cost the next person who will become governor to succeed Rick Perry.

Texas remains a deeply ruby-red state, in the vise grip of Republican officeholders. Texans have shown a propensity in recent election cycles to elect Republicans over more qualified Democrats just because of their party affiliation. But, hey, Texans did the same thing in reverse back when Democrats were the top dog.

Sen. Davis would surely energize a moribund political party that’s been whipped so often it’s lost much of its will to win.

Please, though, don’t hold me to any of this. We’ll just wait for Wendy to give us the word.