March 3rd, 2010
12:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Perry wins GOP primary in Texas, White takes Democratic ballot

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for a third term but faces two Republican opponents.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for a third term but faces two Republican opponents.

Driftwood, Texas (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry won his state's Republican gubernatorial primary outright on Tuesday, avoiding a potentially costly runoff election against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Hutchison called Perry to concede the race after returns indicated that the governor was cruising toward a resounding victory in the closely-watched primary.

Addressing supporters at her election night headquarters in Dallas, she asked Republicans to come together behind Perry as he runs for his third full term against the Democratic nominee, former Houston Mayor Bill White.

"Now we must unite," Hutchison said. "We must win Texas for Republicans."

Perry's triumph ended a year-long intra-party fight that was billed from the start as a clash of Texas political titans but ended with a whimper as Hutchison struggled to fight a tide of anti-Washington sentiment among conservatives.

The governor cast his victory as a warning shot to Washington in the mold of recent GOP wins in the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races and the Massachusetts special Senate election.

"I think the message is pretty clear," Perry told supporters at his election night party near Austin. "Conservatism has never been stronger than it is today."

Perry said the message to Washington was simple: "Quit spending all the money," he said. "Stop trying to take over our lives and our businesses."

He added: "Stop messing with Texas!"

With nearly two-thirds of precincts reporting, Perry maintained a 20-point lead over Hutchison and appeared to be on pace to cross the crucial 50 percent mark needed to avoid a six-week runoff election against the three-term senator, who began her gubernatorial bid as the prohibitive frontrunner but stumbled as Perry's campaign cast her as a big-spending Washington insider.

GOP activist Debra Medina, a conservative with strong support among Tea Party activists, looked to be headed for a third place finish.

"Pat yourself on the back for a job well done Texas and we’ll figure out where we go from here tomorrow," Medina told supporters.

White, the popular former three-term mayor of Houston, the country's fourth-largest city, predicted that Perry will try to nationalize the race and tie him to unpopular Democratic agenda items in Washington.

"He'll run against President Obama," White told CNN in an interview.

"That's probably for his own political career. I think he wants to run for president. I'm just running for the people of Texas. It shouldn't be about a party or who's doing what to whom in Washington."

The Republican Governors Association attacked White immediately after he won his primary Tuesday, accusing him of "staunch support for President Obama’s leftist agenda."

Filed under: 2010 • Bill White • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Preston kk

    Pkm would that be some thing if the dems beat perry the bushes would have to heard cattle

    March 3, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    Oh god. I'm moving to Texas in a couple of years. Not looking forward to hearing this guy's nonsense all the time.

    March 3, 2010 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  3. Ryan

    WHITE FOR TEXAS! Get tricky Rick outta there!

    March 3, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  4. LonnieAZ

    We're ready for the Perry vs White fight. The secessionist is going to be shown the door. I can hardly wait for this fight. Bring it on Gov. Perry!

    March 3, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  5. Anonymous

    I can only hope that Washington listens to this Governor- no money for Texas, no help in anyway, at anytime.
    Conservative Texans were the first to use the term "elitist" when referring to Liberals, Democrats, the press and those working in Hollywood. Yet there is not a state in the union where the holier than thou attitude is previlant than there.
    Isn't this the same amn that suggested they secede from the US?
    How American.

    March 3, 2010 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  6. Ryan

    Who cares. The States with the highest levels of poverty and low education and high deficits are run by Republicans...and Southern.

    March 3, 2010 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  7. Jeff

    Alaska has Palin.
    Texas has Perry

    The country has a problem.........

    March 3, 2010 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  8. E in NC

    God help Texas from nuts like Perry!

    March 3, 2010 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  9. cspurgeon

    Hope the Dem wins. This perry is a real wacko....Texas has an issue if they Think Hutchison is a moderate. She doesn't place any votes that she doesn't get her button pushed by the no party.

    March 3, 2010 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  10. John

    Rick Perry and his tollroads --

    March 3, 2010 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  11. jsilver2th

    Say I was thinking now that it would be a good idea after all to get Texas out of the union and if they don't seceed we should reduce them to a territory kind of like Guam because the political situation is so unstable and the drifting away from the ideas of the American Revolution moving towards a Theocracy.

    I guess in Austin and Huston there are pockets of sanity, We should give them aslyum on the West Coast .

    Didn't that place used to belong to Mexico anyway? Without the good old USA I'd like to see that crew protect their turf from the Mexican mafia for a week- fat chance. Visit Texico land of the crazed zombies.

    March 3, 2010 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  12. vs

    If there are any citizens in Texas that for a moment can set aside their stupidity, think about your self interest for once and vote for the Democrat.

    March 3, 2010 05:48 am at 5:48 am |