[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/19/barbour1.jpg caption="Barbour hopes Hutchison stays in Senate."]
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.