Mimi Swartz reports on the Bill White press conference; White says he will announce his decision on December 4
Mon November 23, 2009 5:27 pm

Swartz on the scene at City Hall:

Upstairs at City Hall at 4:15 today, the local news media was treated to a classic performance by our mayor/gubernatorial candidate, Bill White. The answer to the question that has been swirling through political circles since Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she wouldn’t be resigning her Senate seat until after the Republican primary -- Will White run for governor instead of Senate? -- is . . . probably. That is, Bill White is just possibly, perhaps, probably, most likely, going to enter the Democratic primary to run for governor of Texas. White was his usual now-don’t-get-all-excited self when he read his statement from the podium in a darkly paneled, windowless room outside the mayor's office. He wore an inoffensive gray suit. He sounded, as he often does, like a preacher in an ecumenical service, that is, if the preacher were speaking in lay terms, and that preacher had maybe seen Network a few times. In other words, White isn’t going to decide for sure until he hears from the people of Texas that they're mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more. He wants each and every one of us to go to his website (see below) and tell him what we think he should do. THEN he is going to make up his mind. (“So I want to hear YOUR thoughts and aspirations for the future of our state. Can’t we do better in Texas? How can I best serve you?”) The best predictor of White’s intentions? Maybe it was the bumper sticker that the supposed Senate campaign has been handing out for months, a deliciously ambiguous, "Bill White for Texas."

Here is the text of his remarks:

Since Friday a week ago Texans from all backgrounds and all regions have asked me to consider running to be our next Governor of Texas. Today I agree to consider running for Governor, and shall make a decision by Friday, December 4th.

Before then I invite the citizens of Texas to weigh in on this decision by visiting my website and emailing me at .

Both our next Governor and Senator should bring new energy to the task of moving our state forward. In both positions, we need leadership that can bring our state together and reduce the strident partisanship in both Austin and Washington.

Texans know we can do better than ranking dead last in the nation in the percentage of our population with a high school diploma. Texans know we can do better than the last decade of soaring electricity and insurance costs, and skyrocketing college tuition.

Sen. Hutchison has postponed her departure from the Senate and acknowledged that her continued service limits her ability to campaign in our state. I share her belief, and that of her supporters, that we need a new Governor.

I thank many thousands of Texans who have supported my campaign with their volunteer hours and dollars. I will listen to your views on how we can best work together to do what is right for Texas. I especially welcome advice from the citizens of Texas' largest city, who know me best and have supported leadership by solutions, not just soundbites. You have been my partners in moving Houston forward by finding common ground, and running our City Hall with integrity, in a business-like, financially sound, and inclusive manner.

Politics aside, Texans should enjoy their friends and family during this week of Thanksgiving and say a prayer for those who cannot be home with their loved ones because they are serving us abroad.

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