The campaign to drive Hutchison out of the race has begun
Wed November 18, 2009 3:20 pm

This undated letter from former state party chairman George Strake Jr. was forwarded to me by a Perry loyalist.

Dear Friend,

As someone who helped build our Republican Majority in Texas since the days Democrats dominated every statewide office and both houses of the legislature, and as someone who has supported Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s four campaigns for the U.S. Senate, I write to you today with great concern about the damage that is about to be done when our Republican Governor and Republican U.S. Senator collide in what will be a bloody primary, AND the blood will be all Republican.

As of today we have 39 Republican U.S. Senate seats. We need 40 in order to sustain a filibuster. When Senator Hutchison vacates her Senate seat we could well lose this Texas Senate seat to the Democrats, thus dropping our number to 38. Also important to note is the fact that if Senator Hutchison vacates her seat, Senator Olympia Snowe, a liberal from Maine, will be in line to become Ranking Member of the powerful Commerce Committee in the US Senate. She will not be an advocate for Texas businesses – which could be detrimental when the Senate takes up carbon cap and trade legislation that harms Texas the most.

We took a terrible beating in the 2008 national elections but we have a chance of picking up gains across the board in 2010 if we do not destroy ourselves in bloody and expensive primaries. By Senator Hutchison vacating her U.S. Senate seat and running in the gubernatorial primary, she jeopardizes the Republican Majority, taking needed funds from local races in an election year that will determine who writes congressional and legislative district lines. This election year is critical to us as Texas Republicans. Now is the time for patriotism and unity. The future of our nation is at risk. We need to come together as Republicans and deliver a clear message to our fellow Texans that we are a united party, united in opposition to the radical liberalism of Obama, Pelosi and the Democratic Party.

If we do not destroy ourselves, we can take advantage of Obama’s falling approval numbers brought about by massive debt, record deficits and boondoggle bailouts. You can serve your country by making a strong plea to Senator Hutchison to remain in her Senate seat and pulling together as a team of quality Republican candidates. I support Governor Rick Perry for re-election and would ask, for the sake of the party, that you do the same.

* * * *

Maybe George Strake did this on his own, but I suspect that it will not be the only such letter that is sent out, and that the Perry campaign is about to put on a full-court press for "strong pleas" to Senator Hutchison to get out of the race. Perry has said before that he wasn't convinced that he would have an opponent. This is a smart time to make this move, with the filing period coming up in a couple of weeks and with Hutchison lagging in the polls. Depending upon how many letters the Perry campaign can gin up, it could work.

What do you think the odds are that Hutchison will run? I'd make it 65-35.

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