Having written off 2000, when Kay Bailey Hutchison should easily win another term in the U.S. Senate, Texas Democrats are looking ahead to the next round of statewide races. If you believe the buzz within spitting distance of the Capitol, the ticket for 2002 is shaping up: former comptroller of public accounts John Sharp as the nominee for governor; maybe Paul Hobby, the son of former lieutenant governor Bill Hobby, for his dad’s old job; maybe Austin mayor Kirk Watson for attorney general; maybe Watson, Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, or former Waco insurance executive and U.S. ambassador to Sweden Lyndon Olsen for the U.S. Senate against Phil Gramm (assuming he runs for reelection—another subject of chin-stroking speculation).
Your first reaction may be that the list is all male and awfully white. (And it could get all white: Several insiders are betting that Kirk, who is black, will opt not to run in ‘02 and then, when his mayoral term is up a year later, quit politics and take a job in the private sector.) Not to worry, say top Democrats, who insist they’re committed to finding a Hispanic and a woman to run alongside the alpha Anglos. And while there are those in the party who hope that Henry Cisneros will ride to the rescue on the red-eye from Los Angeles,