April 15, 2009
By ANNA M. TINSLEY
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Entertainer Kinky Friedman is more formally throwing his trademark black cowboy hat into the ring.
On Tuesday, the comedian-author-musician took a key step into entering the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race by announcing the creation of an exploratory committee to raise money and determine whether he should run next year as a Democrat.
"I am a humorist, but I know these are not humorous times," Friedman wrote in a letter to supporters Tuesday. "There is a pathetic lack of leadership at the state level. The last governor who was truly on the side of the people was Ann Richards. She was a very funny lady — she was also a great governor."
Friedman is the latest of several candidates to formally announce intentions to likely seek the post. . .
For the Democrats, Friedman likely faces Fort Worth native and former U.S. ambassador Tom Schieffer, and possibly former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio.
Friedman’s move Tuesday could be a key test for Schieffer, who some feel has more to prove as a Democrat after serving eight years as a diplomat under Republican President George W. Bush.
"Schieffer still has to prove whether he’s a serious candidate," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "Democrats have become more comfortable with the idea of Schieffer as the candidate, but there still are doubts and misgivings among Democrats that he has to overcome.
"With Kinky’s [name] recognition, this will be a first challenge for [Schieffer]," Jillson said.
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