In a move that could spark a bruising Republican primary battle in 2010, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is taking formal steps toward a run for Texas governor.
Hutchison said in a news release Thursday that she's setting up a gubernatorial exploratory committee and transferring $1 million into it from her federal account.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry has already said he's in the race, so the moves could trigger a brutal campaign for the GOP nomination. In a written statement, Hutchison took several swipes at Perry, saying there's "too much bitterness, too much anger, too little trust, too little consensus and too much infighting" in Austin.
"The tone comes from the top," she said. "Texans are looking for leadership and results."