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Kay Bailey Hutchison Not Seeking Re-election

By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-945510.mp3

Dallas, TX – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will NOT seek re-election when her term is up in 2012. KERA's BJ Austin says the Senator made the announcement in a letter to supporters today.

Senator Hutchison says making the announcement now should give the people of Texas ample time to consider who her successor will be. Several Republicans have already announced their intentions: including Railroad Commissioners Michael Williams, and Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Secretary of State Roger Williams, and maybe Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert - who has promised to make an announcement on his political future soon.

Chris Elam, with the Republican Party of Texas, says a wide-open U.S. Senate race is going to bring a large field of candidates.

Elam: I think this race is going to begin very early. I think we'll see candidates announcing over the next weeks and months. I think especially by later this summer and fall that we're going to see this race in full swing.

Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray agrees it'll be a hot race here in Texas and nationally.

Gray: A U.S. Senate seat being open is always going to be of course a huge deal. And with Texas gaining four new congressional seats, it's clear that our state is becoming more of an influential player on the national scene.

In her letter, Senator Hutchison says she looks forward to living in Texas full-time with her family.

Email BJ Austin