EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The battle lines are now officially drawn: The senior senator versus the longest serving governor in Texas history. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has thrown her hat in the ring, taking on Governor Rick Perry in the 2010 Governor's Republican Primary.
"It is a time of pride and humility for history, that I announce today that I am a candidate for governor of Texas," said Senator Hutchison.
She is trying to take the reigns from Governor Rick Perry who has led the state since 2000. It is part of her campaign push, saying he has overstayed his welcome. The theme of her announcement tour: "Texas can do better."
"After 10 years of governance under Rick Perry, where are we?" said Sen. Hutchison. "Property taxes...[are the] highest in the country. State debt, doubled. Tuition, skyrocketing. Drop-out rates, among the highest. Uninsured children, leading the nation. Private property rights [are] at risk. 10 years is enough."
Hutchison has been serving on the U.S. Senate since 1993, a 16-year senate career. In fact, she's the first female U.S. senator elected in Texas, but now, she wants to add Texas Governor to her resume and leave Washington.
"I am so happy to be home," said Hutchison.
While Hutchison was speaking inside, outside, aides to Governor Perry parked a truck featuring an oversized picture of Hutchison and a sign saying "Kay Bailout Express." The Perry camp calls the senator "Kay Bailout," slamming her vote favoring last year's 700 billion financial rescue package. Both camps have already released videos criticizing one another. It's a brewing battle that some Republicans worry may hurt the GOP. Hutchinson says she'll resign her senate seat this fall to focus on the race. Senator Hutchison's five day tour will take her to 19 cities, including here in East Texas. She is expected to be in Nacogdoches Tuesday.