WASHINGTON (CNN) – Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison took steps Thursday to run for governor in 2010, a move that could set up a fierce primary battle with the state's current governor.
"Texans deserve a Governor who, in the context of sound budgetary policies and low taxes, works for quality schools and universities, access to health care for our families, communities safe from crime and drugs, protection of private property rights, sensible transportation and a government that listens and responds to them," Hutchison said in a paper statement. "There's too much bitterness, too much anger, too little trust, too little consensus and too much infighting. And the tone comes from the top. Texans are looking for leadership and results."
Governor Rick Perry said in April he would run for a third term.
Papers to form Hutchison's exploratory committee were filed Thursday in Austin. In her statement, the Texas senior senator stressed she was "not yet a candidate" as there were "friends, community and business leaders" that she wanted to consult with before formally announcing her candidacy. Hutchison, who was re-elected to her Senate seat in 2006, did not indicate whether or not she would resign should she pursue a gubernatorial bid.