And I, for one, welcome this development.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced today that she will retire at the end of her current term, quashing speculation that she would run for a fourth full term in the U.S. Senate.
In an open letter to Texans, Hutchison said she wanted to live "full-time in Texas with my family" and was "forever grateful for the privilege of working for you in the United States Senate."
Hutchison's announcement will set off a wild scramble for the Senate seat the Dallas Republican first won in a 1993 special election against interim Sen. Bob Krueger, D-New Braunfels.
Hutchison said her early announcement "should give the people of Texas ample time to consider who my successor will be."
And let the scrambling begin.
Some folks are looking to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to make a run for the seat. At least that is the word from the Washington Post. But just based upon what we saw this past spring, there are a number of GOP candidates ready, willing and able to run -- Secretary of State Roger Williams, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Railroad Commission Elizabeth Ames Jones and state Sen. Florence Shapiro. Personally, I back Michael Williams, but recognize that any of the contenders would be a good choice for Texas. Dewhurst does have advantages, though – name recognition and the ability to self-finance a campaign to an extent that would allow him to blow his opponents away in both the primary and general election. Another wild-card would be Governor Perry himself – after all, he has served as governor longer than anyone in state history, and the odds of his being reelected to the post in 2014 after 14 years as governor are virtually nil. Being the junior senator from Texas would give him a public spotlight and help set him up for an eventual presidential run And that, my friends, is the very thing that many have speculated is Gov. Goodhair’s ultimate goal.