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March 3, 2010: News, Research & Events from the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
Texas Capitol building in Austin, Texas

Why "Washington" matters in the Texas governor's race

Today marks the unofficial start of the general election campaign between Texas governor Rick Perry and former Houston mayor Bill White. Perry won Tuesday’s Republican primary with 51 percent of the vote over Kay Bailey Hutchison's 30 percent; White, a Democrat, defeated Houston hair-care magnate Farouk Shami with 76 percent of the vote. Over the next eight months, we can expect the Perry camp to “frame the November election as a choice between the current Republican/Perry model of government in Texas and the Democratic/Obama model of government in Washington, D.C.," Baker Institute Rice scholar Mark P. Jones, chair of the university's political science department, wrote in the Baker Institute blog. Although White is not especially well known by many voters outside of Houston, he has "the financial resources needed to mount a very credible statewide campaign," Jones added. “To have a reasonable chance of victory, White will have to re-orient the focus of the gubernatorial campaign as well as to convince voters simultaneously that a White administration would be very distinct from the Obama administration,” and that Perry's deficits as governor merit his replacement.

What do you think? Read Jones' blog, "What Perry's primary win means for the Texas gubernatorial race," in The Houston Chronicle and join the conversation. 

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The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan public policy think tank located on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. The institute's distinguished fellows and scholars research and collaborate with experts from academia, government, the media, business and private organizations on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy.
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