Governor Rick Perry delivered a crushing blow to Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Texas GOP primary tonight. Senator Hutchison never gave a compelling reason to turn out Texas's longest serving governor other than that it was her turn.
The selfishness in Hutchison's campaign rubbed Texas voters the wrong way and the disastrous campaign that ensued did her no favors. Remarkably, Texas's longest serving governor was able to position himself as the outsider in the race.
Despite earmark after earmark designed to show Texans she could bring home the bacon, the voters of Texas washed their hands of KBH and her campaign, putting Rick Perry into the general election without a runoff, despite a three way primary.
What's more, the tea party activists so opposed to a Washington career politician returning merely for her turn in the Governor's Mansion, showed real maturity. Deborah Medina tried to claim the mantle of the tea party movement, but every major poll done in Texas showed the tea party activists in Texas pretty firmly united around Perry. They stayed that way, and fully solidified after Medina went on Glenn Beck's program and suggested she was sympathetic to truthers (the people who think the government blew up the World Trade Center).
Tonight was a big win for tea party activists in Texas who held the line, rallied around one candidate, did not split their vote, and sent Washington a strong message.
Now, will Kay Bailey Hutchison get out of Michael Williams' seat? She said as recently as three weeks ago that she would resign, regardless of tonight's outcome, by November. Michael Williams is one of several candidates Governor Perry could appoint to the seat and he is the odds on favorite of conservatives, to whom Rick Perry owes a tremendous debt for keeping him out of a costly runoff.
Senator Jim DeMint has a petition up and going at www.makeitmichael.com to encourage Gov. Perry to appoint Commissioner Williams once Kay Bailey Hutchison resigns — assuming she keeps her word. I encourage you to sign the petition.