Many Texas delegates to the GOP convention grumbled upon hearing news that both Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst will seek reelection in 2014. (Dewhurst—who had scuttled his plans to attend the RNC but changed his mind on Monday— told reporters about his reelection plans Tuesday after the Texas delegation gave him a standing ovation.)
The Texas Tribune ’s Jay Root picked the brains of several delegates about the news on the convention floor. (Much of the Texas delegation are drawn from the Tea Party, a group that is famously unfriendly to incumbents.)
“Lord no!” Ken Dale, from Fort Worth, exclaimed Wednesday upon hearing the news. “So we’re gonna have a governor for life and a lieutenant governor for life? Some of the politicians need to know when it’s time to retire. We have other talent in the state. I’ve already voted for them enough.”
Dallas resident Dan Pickens, who described himself as a “very term-limit oriented guy,” was of the same mind: “I think it’s time for them to move on. …It’s been too long, and things are stagnant,” he said.
Root helpfully puts the length of Perry’s tenure in office in perspective: “If Perry is re-elected in 2014 and serves a fourth full term, a Texan born in 2000 will have gone from diapers to his or her high school caps and gowns with the same governor. Dewhurst, elected in 2002 and also up for re-election in 2014, would be looking at a total of 16 years in the No. 2 spot, where he presides over the Texas Senate.”
Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News reported that when Perry was asked on Thursday about this sentiment among the delegates, he “replied that Republican primary voters will have the final say in 2014.”
After reading Root’s story, Robert Cyrus Ryland, Bastrop County Democratic Party Chair, tweeted “[w]hen your own party’s activists are sick of you, it may be time to go.”