Bill White: See You Dec. 4

Houston Mayor responds to Schieffer request by saying still considering

White: Taking Thanksgiving to digest his decision
White: Taking Thanksgiving to digest his decision (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

Heady days in Texas elections: No sooner than Tom Schieffer holds a press conference in the House Speaker's Committee Room that he's stepping out of the governor's race in favor of Houston Mayor and Senate hopeful Bill White, White holds a press conference saying he's thinking about accepting.

Schieffer, speaking to a full room at 3pm, was magnanimous and realistic. His campaign wasn't getting the cash in fast enough, and he wanted to get out of the way for a better candidate. That candidate, he added, was White, and he urged every other Democrat in the governor's primary to get out of the way, and for White to jump races. He had visited White over the weekend to talk through these issues, and at 4.15pm, White made his response at Houston City Hall: He'll think about it and make his decision by Dec. 4. That's the day after filing for primary ballot access begins.

Interestingly, he's already picked up some big name endorsements. Sen Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, is already on board, while Travis County's own Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin released this statement:

"Texas needs a candidate for Governor that will honor previous generations and build for our future. I believe Mayor Bill White knows Texans need actions – not mere words, and certainly not the typical smoke screens. I encourage him to enter the Governor’s race, and I will do all I can to support him in his effort to give Texas the new leadership and the new direction it needs."
Here's White's full press release:
Since Friday a week ago Texans from all backgrounds and all regions have asked me to consider running to be our next Governor of Texas. Today I agree to consider running for Governor, and shall make a decision by Friday, December 4th.

Before then I invite the citizens of Texas to weigh in on this decision by visiting my website and emailing me at

Both our next Governor and Senator should bring new energy to the task of moving our state forward. In both positions, we need leadership that can bring our state together and reduce the strident partisanship in both Austin and Washington.

Texans know we can do better than ranking dead last in the nation in the percentage of our population with a high school diploma. Texans know we can do better than the last decade of soaring electricity and insurance costs, and skyrocketing college tuition.

Sen. Hutchison has postponed her departure from the Senate and acknowledged that her continued service limits her ability to campaign in our state. I share her belief, and that of her supporters, that we need a new Governor.

I thank many thousands of Texans who have supported my campaign with their volunteer hours and dollars. I will listen to your views on how we can best work together to do what is right for Texas. I especially welcome advice from the citizens of Texas' largest city, who know me best and have supported leadership by solutions, not just soundbites. You have been my partners in moving Houston forward by finding common ground, and running our City Hall with integrity, in a business-like, financially sound, and inclusive manner.

Politics aside, Texans should enjoy their friends and family during this week of Thanksgiving and say a prayer for those who cannot be home with their loved ones because they are serving us abroad.

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Election 2010, 2010 Primaries, Bill White, Governor's Office, Kirk Watson, Tom Schieffer, Eliot Shapleigh

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