Gubernatorial snapshots

The gubernatorial primaries may seem like a complicated process, but they give voters another opportunity to narrow the field of possible candidates.


At a glance

Before the actual race for the governor’s seat can occur, each party has multiple candidates to choose from, said Adam Schiffer, an assistant professor of political science. Texas has a two-step process: vote in a primary and then vote in the caucus as a registered member of a party.
Eric Cox, an assistant professor of political science and associate director of TCU’s Center for Civic Literacy, said the current primary system allows for more voices to be heard.

“The way our electoral system works, each party elects one candidate for governor, and the primary system is the way you get to select the candidate,” Cox said. “At one point candidates were selected only at party conventions, in essence by the elite members of the party, but the primary system lets everyone have a say in who the party candidate will be.”


Predictions

No one expects a competitive race in the Democratic primary, Schiffer said. Farouk Shami, whom he called the only viable second option for the Democratic Party, hasn’t been able to prove himself as a serious candidate, Schiffer said.

Bill White “has it in hand,” Schiffer said.

The Republican race, however, ended up being an interesting one, Schiffer said.
“Everybody expected Kay Bailey Hutchison to give (Rick) Perry a serious run, but her campaign has really never taken off,” he said.

Cox said he believes the Republican nomination will come down to a runoff between Perry and Hutchison.

“To become the candidate you have to get 50 percent of the vote, and no one is getting 50 percent of the vote in any of the polls,” Cox said. “I would guess that Rick Perry would win that runoff.”

The Republican Party does have a legitimate third candidate, Schiffer said. Debra Medina has been polling in the double-digits, which he said no one really expected.

“If she gets enough votes to pull Rick Perry under 50 percent, then there would be a runoff,” Schiffer said. “That could give the Democrats an advantage because Republicans would have to campaign again, and White could focus all of his attention running for the general election.”


Meet the Candidates

Democrats:

Bill White lives in Houston and served as mayor of Houston for three terms, according to his gubernatorial Web site. He was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy under former President Bill Clinton. As governor, White plans to attract new businesses and jobs to Texas, according to his Web site.

Bill Dear moved to Texas in 1961 and started his investigation agency William C. Dear & Associates. He began a private investigation school and created a nationally certified education course on private investigation, according to his official Web site. He is billed as a “conservative democrat” who believes in fiscal responsibility, states’ rights, limited government, free markets and is opposed to open borders and illegal immigration.

Clement E. Glenn is a tenured associate professor in the College of Education-Graduate Programs at Prairie View A&M University, according to his gubernatorial Web site. He is running as a statesman who “expertly governs in a true democracy,” rather than as a politician, according to his Web site.

Star Locke is a rancher from Port Aransas, Texas, according to his Web site. The Web site stated Locke wants Texans to take a “fresh look” at all of the candidates, focusing on the logic behind their plans for change and to look closely at their proposed legislation.

Farouk Shami was born in Ramallah, West Bank, and came to America on a college scholarship in 1965, according to his gubernatorial Web site. He is the CEO of Farouk Systems Inc., a manufacturer of hair care products, and promised that if his economic plan doesn’t create 100,000 new jobs in Texas in his first two years in office, he will immediately resign and pay the state $10 million.

Felix (Rodriguez) Alvarado is from San Antonio and is a former staff sergeant in the Army, according to his official Web site. His short-term plan to create new jobs is to legalize “well-regulated” casinos in top tourist locations such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and South Padre Island.

Alma Ludivina Aguado lives in San Antonio and is an internal medicine physician, according to her Web site. She plans to discontinue tax deductions for companies that move their operations overseas. She also calls for amends to the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to her Web site.


Republicans:

Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, according to his gubernatorial Web site. He said Texas has consistently been ranked as one of the best places to do business in the nation while under his leadership.

Kay Bailey Hutchison served as a U.S. senator for Texas since 1993, according to her gubernatorial Web site. Hutchison said she plans to focus on education because “our children’s education is the first line of offense in assuring a thriving economy in the future.”

Debra Medina founded Prudentia, Inc., a medical billing company in Wharton, Texas, in 2002, according to her gubernatorial Web site. Medina plans to eliminate property tax and derive the lost revenue from sales tax, which she said will lead to a $3 billion increase in net personal income in Texas and will add 125,000-175,000 new jobs.

Staff reporter Jennifer Ivy contributed to this report.