EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was campaigning in East Texas Tuesday, speaking on everything from improved education to transportation in the state, and she's gaining a lot of local support: from Tyler's mayor, to the Smith County sheriff and Congressman Louie Gohmert to name a few.
"I support her whole heartedly as our next governor," said Tyler mayor, Barbara Bass.
"From a selfish stand point, she's a big supporter of law enforcement," said Sheriff J.B. Smith.
"[If] you needed something done on the Senate side, you could talk to Kay anytime day or night and she would help do whatever could be done for Texans," said Gohmert. "That's her heart."
Senator Hutchison promises to spend less and tax less.
"Look at Governor Perry's tax on business," said Hutchison, speaking to the East Texas crowd. "It's been called a job killer. In fact, 200,000 Texans have lost their jobs since January...I don't call a job killing tax increase something I'd be proud of. I'd call it a tragic mistake."
She also plans to do away with the Trans-Texas Corridor and improve transportation.
"TxDOT is the most arrogant state agency in the history of Texas," said Hutchison passionately. "I will reform the commission. It should be [a] representative of more regions of our state, especially East Texas."
Supporters have patiently waited for this move. But, there is concern among Republicans, we asked the senior senator to address.
"Senator, some Republicans are worried this run may hurt the GOP or split the Republican Party, what would you say to those?" I asked Hutchison.
"I would say that certainly I think Governor Perry is staying too long and that's hurting the Republican party," Hutchison replied. "I think we need new leadership, new vision, we need to bring new people in to strengthen our party and that's why I'm running."
In the meantime, in Washington, she promises not to let her guard down.
"As long as I'm there I am going to join hands with Louie Gohmert and we are going to fight the government take-over of our health care system," said Hutchison as the crowd applauded.
If voted into office, Senator Hutchison says she'll propose incentives for middle and high school math and science teachers to get a degree in the courses they teach.