I haven’t previously paid much attention to the candidacy of Debra Medina, of Wharton, for the Republican nomination for governor, but when the Rasmussen poll shows Hutchison ahead of Perry by 2% and Medina gets 3%, perhaps it’s time to pay attention. This race is fertile ground for a wild-card candidate to be a game-changer. First, as the numbers already show, Medina could throw Perry and Hutchison into a runoff. Second, because Perry and Hutchison despise each other, and because each is going to try to destroy the other, the two leading candidates are likely to be bloodied and unattractive come March 2. Medina will be the way for voters to register a “neither of the above” vote. Third, Medina is a disciple of Ron Paul. This means that she has access to a constituency that already exists. I’m not saying that Medina is going to win the race, of course. I do believe that she has the ability to wreak havoc on the two leading contenders — Perry, because they are courting the same constituency, and Hutchison, because she is a second woman in the race. Earlier this month, R. G. Ratcliffe blogged about a letter from Paul that stops just short of endorsing Media. Some outtakes from the letter: * I would like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Debra Medina. I have known Debra for over ten years and have always been impressed by her drive and commitment to principle. Debra has been a real defender of Liberty both in her home town of Wharton and across the state of Texas. * Debra has for years been a key supporter and member of my campaign team. As chairman of the Wharton County Republican Party, she has stood up to the big government establishment and fought to hold our party accountable to our platform and our conservative Texas values. * Because of her leadership and organizational skills, I asked Debra to serve on the board of directors of my national grassroots action group, Campaign for Liberty, where she has played an important role in our fight to defend our Constitution. * In addition to her political accomplishments, I am proud of Debra for the person she is. Debra Medina is a loving wife, a home school mother of two talented honor students, and a successful business owner. * I am proud to call Debra Medina a friend, and as a fellow Texan, I encourage you to get to know her. Debra is exploring a run for higher office and would appreciate your input on her effort. One key question is whether Medina will have access to Ron Paul’s fundraising sources and mailing list. I would expect that the answer will be yes, and, if so, her impact on the race will increase geometrically.