(CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison Friday in her bid to overtake the incumbent Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a Republican primary in March.
"She has proven herself as an effective leader for Texas," the former president said in a press conference with reporters. He added that he had a long-standing offer to Hutchison to back her in a bid for the Texas governorship. "Today, we are very happy to have a chance to fulfill that commitment."
"Barbara and I are taking this unusual step of endorsing Kay in this primary not because we oppose Rick Perry," Bush said, "…but because of our unbridled belief in Kay."
(CNN) - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's bid for Texas governor gets the support of a former commander-in-chief Friday.
According to the Hutchison campaign, former President George H.W. Bush will formally back Hutchison at an event in Houston, Texas. The 4-term senator is challenging fellow Republican and incumbent Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the March 2 Republican primary.
Earlier this week former Secretary of State James Baker endorsed Hutchison. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is also backing her bid to topple Perry. Former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is scheduled to campaign with Perry early next month.
Perry was elected lieutenant governor in 1998 and assumed the governorship after incumbent George W. Bush stepped down following the 2000 presidential election. Perry won full terms in 2002 and 2006.
The elder former president Bush has lived in Houston since leaving the White House in early 1993.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
(CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush will endorse Texas gubernatorial candidate Kay Bailey Hutchison on Friday, according to Hutchison's campaign.
The endorsement is set to occur at a press conference at the former president's office in Houston.
Hutchison, in her fourth term in the U.S. Senate, faces incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in a Republican primary in March.
(CNN) - It seems everything's bigger in Texas - including the amount of money flowing into the coffers of the state's top two Republican gubernatorial candidates.
Gov. Rick Perry, running for a third full term this year, reports raising $7.1 million in the second half of 2009. His campaign held $11.6 million cash on hand at the start of this year.
Primary challenger Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison reports bringing in more than $6 million during the same period, with $12.3 million in the bank at the start of this year.
The Perry and Hutchison campaigns released their numbers in advance of filing official reports with the Texas Ethics Commission by the end of the week.
The two candidates, along with fellow Republican Debra Medina, face off Thursday night in their first televised debate. The Republican primary is March 2.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
Washington (CNN) - A GOP official is dismissing a report that John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is pressuring his fellow Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to drop her gubernatorial primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry.
A Wall Street Journal column reported Thursday that Cornyn is "trying to persuade Ms. Hutchison to drop out of the governor's race [to] run for re-election to the senate" - a move that would put an end to the hard-hitting GOP primary battle in Texas and keep Hutchison's seat in Republican hands.
Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the NRSC, called the report "absolutely false."
Cedar Creek, Texas (CNN)– Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday that he hopes Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison remains in the Senate and acknowledged that he has spoken with her about challenging Gov. Rick Perry in the GOP primary.
Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), would not elaborate on his conversation with Hutchison, but did say he personally hopes Perry wins another term.
"I would just hate to lose Kay Bailey in the Senate," Barbour said at a news conference during the RGA's annual meeting. "She has been a great senator. I would just hate to lose a great senator like that when we have a fine governor."
Barbour did note that the RGA, which is the campaign arm for GOP governors, would not be taking a side in the primary. Still, this week's conference is being held in Perry's home state and he has played a prominent role as host of the event.
(CNN) - Dick Cheney's decision to weigh in on the Republican intra-party battle in Texas - a rare primary season endorsement by the former vice president - is an attempt to help challenger Kay Bailey Hutchison shore up her conservative credentials and attract undecided GOP voters, according to two knowledgeable GOP sources.
The former vice president teamed up with Hutchinson in Houston Tuesday to officially endorse her gubernatorial bid. The Texas senator is taking on two-term incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in next year's Republican primary.
One source notes that Cheney and Hutchison have a longstanding relationship that goes back to the days when they were both in Dallas, a time when Cheney served as Halliburton CEO.
The political calculation behind Tuesday's move is the hope that Cheney can help the senator win over undecided Republican voters in a state where the Bush administration's seal of approval may hold more sway than anywhere else. "The two most popular people in Texas are George and Barbara Bush - and Cheney isn't far behind," says one source close to Texas politics.
Perry, according to his campaign, has already won a re-election nod from the person who had hoped to succeed Cheney - Sarah Palin.
Story updated below with Hutchison's remarks as prepared for delivery on Saturday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who previously said she would resign her seat to run for governor, will announce Saturday she will remain in the Senate as she seeks the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination, a Hutchison aide tells CNN.
"She will announce tomorrow at the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s Convention in Galveston that she will not be resigning her seat before the primary,” said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “She is running for governor because she feels it is important to fight on two fronts, for the race for governor and against the Democratic health care proposal and cap and trade.”
In July, Hutchison told Dallas radio station WBAP that she planned to leave the Senate in the fall.
"Then the actual leaving of the Senate will be sometime — October, November — that, in that time frame," she said.
The aide said that Hutchison “plans to resign” her Senate seat “after the primary,” which the aide noted she will win. The aide brushed off the question of whether she would quit if she ends up losing the primary to Gov. Rick Perry.
A Perry spokesman quickly responded to the latest news in what has been a contentious primary battle.
Washington (CNN) - A handful of Republican senators have proposed a Constitutional amendment to limit the amount of time a person may serve in Congress.
Currently, there are no term limits for federal lawmakers, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and several of his colleagues are advocating that service in the Senate be limited to 12 years, while lawmakers would only be allowed to serve 6 years in the House.
"Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians," DeMint said in a statement released by his office. "As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power."
Two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to approve the amendment - a stumbling block that short-circuited the idea 14 years ago. The new proposal echoes the Citizen Legislature Act, part of the original Contract with America proposed by Republicans before they won control of Congress in 1994. That measure, which would have allowed both senators and members of the House to serve just 12 years, won a majority in the Republican-controlled House in 1995, but failed because it did not meet the constitutionally-required two-thirds threshold.