POSTED: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 9:54pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 1:50am
He is the former mayor of the fourth largest city in the country, but he has his work cut out for him. Bill White is challenging the longest serving Governor of Texas, and he stopped by KETK to talk about it.
When I knew Bill White in Houston, he was chairman of the state Democratic Party.
He was an unlikely looking politician then, but in the face of many doubters in the party, he ran for and won 3 mayoral terms, and a surprising amount of Republican support. And now, he’s facing his biggest challenge yet.
A San Antonio native and Harvard graduate, White came to Houston in 1979 to practice law.
He was Deputy Secretary of Energy under President Clinton, and later went into the oil and gas business.
He served 3 terms as Mayor of Houston, and now, is vying to break a 16 year Republican lock on the governor’s mansion.
“Under Rick Perry, the Texas Department of Transportation was diverted by its obsession with that corrupt land deal known as the Trans Texas Corridor,” White says.
Right now though, he is running an average of 5 points behind incumbant Rick Perry. While White’s campaign is encouraged by that, it is a gap that will be tough to close, and he knows it.
“What I’m hearing; and I heard it again just this morning,” he told us, “is that Rick Perry and he just wants to stay in office.”
White stopped by our East Texas Live program to discuss how he intends to do that, and what kind of governor he wants to be…for example, border security.
“For 9 and a half years, Rick Perry has been responsible for getting the federal resources we need,” white says. “He hasn’t done that. The role of the governor would be to get those federal resources we need to protect what is a federal border.”
And an issue many are talking about, increasing federal regulations and programs.
“I like to see government closer to the people,” White declares, “rather than more distant from the people. But there’s a difference in someone who shouts into a microphone, and somebody who gets results.”
White and Perry are fairly even in fundraising, so the closing months of the campaign should be interesting.
Hear the entire interview here on our website.