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Schieffer Loses Possible Oppponent-Endures Bush-Bashing


By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

Former Austin Mayor and State Senator Kirk Watson today ended speculation that he will seek the democratic nomination for governor. He announced he will run for re-election instead. That eliminates one strong opponent for Tom Schieffer of Fort Worth.

While Schieffer is the most visible democrat running for governor, he is struggling to prove his party credentials. KERA's Shelley Kofler reports that last night for the second time in a week democrats confronted Schieffer about his service in George W. Bush's administration

This time Schieffer was seeking support from democrats who live in the same Dallas neighborhood where Bush now lives. They wanted Schieffer to explain why he voted against Ann Richards in her race for governor against Bush and why he didn't object to the administration's outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Mary Warner challenged Schieffer for his support of the Iraq war while serving as Bush's ambassador to Australia.

Warner: I think anyone who served in that administration shows either a lack of judgment or a lack of courage for going along with that.

Reporter: And if he became the party nominee for governor?

Warner: I would not support him

Schieffer said he was proud of having encouraged Australian troops to support the Iraq effort. He hopes Democrats can move beyond his ties to Bush.

Schieffer: I think if we go down the road that all we are going to do is talk about is what George Bush did then it is not going to be productive for anybody. I don't want to do that.

In addition to Schieffer former railroad commissioner candidate Mark Thompson has also entered the Democratic race for Governor. Entertainer Kinky Friedman and several others are also testing the waters.

Email Shelley Kofler