NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Kay Bailey Hutchison steps up before a home crowd she'll be depending on in the coming months. "Thank you all so much for coming out. It is so great to be home," said the Republican primary candidate for governor. Hutchison owns a home in Nacogdoches, would spend summers here as a child and supported numerous projects for the region.
The senator brought her announcement tour to the steps of the historic Old University Building. It served as an appropriate backdrop for Hutchison to remind everyone her family is no stranger to East Texas. "My aunt was the chairman of the restoration committee," Hutchison said while holding up an old photograph of her relative.
The East Texas ties may be all it takes to sway Rick Perry supporters into her arena. If not, the senator has other methods of persuasion. "Where are we?," Hutchison asked in her prepared address. "The highest property taxes in America. State debt doubled. Tuition sky rocketing. Drop out rates among the highest. Uninsured children leading the nation. Private property rights at risk. Ten years is enough," Hutchison said, referring to Rick Perry's long term of service as governor.
Most of the people who were in attendance are Kay Bailey Hutchison supporters, but there were some in the audience who are still on the fence. "It is a very dynamic issue," agreed Hutchison supporter Roy Blake Jr. "You have two people that are the head of the ticket. They're the head of the party, so to speak." Which can lead to neutrality at this point. "As republican party chairman, I do not support anyone in the primaries," Jackie Yates expressed.
A smart candidate knows never to take any area for granted. Hutchison says she will actively campaign in East Texas. "My roots are here. I understand the issues of East Texas and I will be a great governor for East Texas," Hutchison told reporters.
So the home ties will continue. The Hutchison kids, Houston and Bailey, had fun ringing the Old University Building school bell their great aunt saved, while their mom wins over the home crowd.