November 23rd, 2009
06:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Houston mayor mulls running for governor of Texas

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Houston, Texas, Mayor Bill White said Monday he will announce within a week after the Thanksgiving holiday whether he will run for governor."]
(CNN) - Houston, Texas, Mayor Bill White said Monday he will announce within a week after the Thanksgiving holiday whether he will run for governor.

"I agree to consider running for that office, and will make a decision by Friday, December 4," the Democrat told reporters in Austin, the state capital.

He invited Texans to weigh in on the question by e-mailing him at "I think it's best that I listen to people and then make a decision and move on from there," he said.

White's announcement came shortly after candidate Tom Schieffer said he is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination and urged that White seek the job instead. Schieffer and his campaign co-chairman, Lyndon Olson, met Sunday with White, the Austin American reported Monday.

The statehouse currently is held by Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

White had been campaigning to fill the Senate seat expected to be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican who is planning to challenge Perry, but she announced last week that she would postpone her resignation.

"Both our next governor and our next senator," White said, "should bring new leadership to the task of moving our state forward, both in Austin and in Washington. There's too much politics and too little leadership with real solutions."

He cited Texas as being last in the nation in percentage of students who graduate from high school and said soaring electricity costs, insurance rates and college tuition costs "have created a barrier for many people who just wanted to have a better life."

White singled out Perry for criticism. "Many of us are disappointed with his performance, and I think it's time we had new leadership in Austin," he said.

Referring to a Texas Monthly article that described him as having ears that are one size too big for his head, White said, "Maybe I'm not the most media-genic candidate, but right now I think people want folks who are confident, shoot straight, don't engage in cronyism and get things done."

The Texas governor's mansion has been occupied by Republicans since 1995, when George W. Bush entered office after besting Ann Richards.

Filed under: Texas
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    If you only do 10% of the good for Texas that you have done for Houston, you have my vote in the general.

    We are running "operation chaos" in the primary and voting for KBH!

    November 23, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bill White has proven to be the best mayor since I've lived in Houston over the 11 + years and wish he could remain mayor. He is a better Mayor than Perry could ever be Governor and we Houstonians can attest to that. Bill White used his successful management experience in business as Mayor that helped guide Houston through the recession. You bet I'd vote for him.

    November 23, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    "Mayor Sanctuary" Bill White doesn't have a chance to become Governor here in Texas. He's made the City of Houston a sanctuary for illegal aliens. We've already had several Houston Police Officers KILLED BY ILLEGAL ALIENS, yet Bill White still allows these criminals in our city.

    He allowed thousands of ungrateful Katrina people in our city. I volunteered one time and didn't go back. These people were the most hateful, ungrateful, rude bunch of people I have ever met.

    Bill White wants to make the Great State of Texas a Sanctuary City for illegal aliens many of which are hard core criminals.

    "Mayor Sanctuary" fooled the voters once, he won't be able to fool them again. Bill White isn't good for Houston and he sure won't good for TEXAS!

    November 23, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Houston Mom

    Please oh please let Bill White be our governor. We are so tired of being the laughing stock of the nation because of Rick Perry. Texas Republicans are poison and it's time to clear Texas of their toxic stench.

    November 23, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. Keith in Austin

    Save your money Bill! Perry or Hutchinson will be the next Governor of Texas. However, a run at Obama offer much greater odds of winning.

    November 23, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. They call me "tater salad"

    I already like this guy!

    November 23, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  7. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    He'll lose if he runs. Texas is a Republican State, and Democrats days here are numbered, Texans stand for Freedom, Truth, Faith, and Dignity, not Socialism, Taxation, the Devaluation of Human Life, and enslavement by Governments.

    November 23, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Steve

    I can only see one person that can lead Texas to a more powerful state. That person is Bill White!!!!

    November 23, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. probama in paradise

    GO, Bill!

    He's a great mayor and would make a great guvnor! Best of luck to him!

    November 23, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. calling all dems

    texas needs to be rescued from the crashing GOP

    November 23, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Austin

    Mayor White, please enter the Texas Governor's race! I cannot stand another four years under the rule of a republican tea-bagger

    November 23, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. Joe

    Texas would be well-served to have a Governor as thoughtful and effective as Bill White. That said, I do believe the bubba factor is still too strong in Texas to elect quality leadership. In the end, Governor Perry will win reelection by pandering to the lowest common denominator among the electorate ... blaming Washington (and don't forget his "we might just have to succeed ploy"). It's a shame that people fall for that type of distraction to hide the ineffectiveness of folks like Rick Perry ... but it still works.

    Run for the Senate bill, the Texas Governor is a weak office and really plays only a minor role in shaping policy for the state.

    November 23, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. Houston Democrat

    Bill would be better than Kay.


    NO KAY
    NO KAY

    November 23, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. Houston mayor's fan

    The best thing that could happen to Texas politics is for Houston Mayor Bill White to run for, and get, the governorship. The present Governor Good Hair, Rick Perry, is your basic Republican who caters to rightwingers like himself. Bill White has done a lot of good for the City of Houston and the region around it. He knows how to get things done without alienating people, like a real, old-fashioned leader. He works with people of all political stripes for the good of the constituents, not for his own personal benefit. He takes the high road, he makes good things happen, and he doesn't accept the status quo just because no one has ever done something different or better. I don't think he can be bought, unlike more ordinary politicians who commonly prostitute themselves to lobbyists or big money interests. Go, Bill!

    November 23, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. Dallas TX

    You got my vote Mr. White. The sooner we get Rick Perry out of office the better off Texans will be. Kay Bailey is no better.

    November 23, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  16. LacrosseDad

    another democrap joker.

    November 23, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |