View Full Version : Medina raises her profile in GOP race for governor

Jeremy Tyler
01-20-2010, 02:33 AM
h ttp://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6825288.html

AUSTIN — The clash of the titans in the Republican race for governor suddenly is under siege from a mouse that roars.

Former Wharton County GOP Chair Debra Medina was little known outside her home turf just six months ago. Now she threatens to throw the March 2 Republican primary contest between Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison into an April 13 runoff.

“She's certainly raised her profile, and nobody's laughing at her any more,” said William Lutz, a commentator with the conservative newsletter Lone Star Report.

Medina has traveled the state since last summer, building a base upon anti-Washington sentiment, a network of states' rights supporters and backers of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Clute. A solid performance in last week's statewide televised debate gave Medina a surge in popularity, earning her a spot in the second debate on Jan. 29.
Support tripled

As recently as last November, a survey by the national political newsletter Rasmussen Reports showed Medina with 4 percent support among Texas Republican primary voters. But in a survey conducted Sunday after the first debate, Medina's support had surged to 12 percent.

Lutz said he believe Medina is drawing support away from Perry, mostly with social conservative voters angry at the governor over property condemnation and the now-defunct Trans Texas Corridor. Lutz said those voters do not feel comfortable moving to Hutchison because of her support for abortion rights.

“These are people who are looking for a home,” Lutz said.

Medina said she thinks she is drawing from both of her opponents.

“I've not been real picky about where the support is coming from,” Medina said. “I'm hearing just about as often ‘I don't like Rick' as I'm hearing ‘I don't like Kay.' ”

Medina's recent poll result is far from victory but enough to turn her into a player in the Republican primary.

“If she stays within 10 percent of the vote, then this has the real potential of turning into a runoff,” said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson.
Traveling to rallies

Medina has been an energetic campaigner, traveling to Texas Tea Parties and states' rights rallies with her message that the Legislature has the right to nullify many federal laws if they intrude on state self-government. She also is for reducing property taxes, restricting land condemnation and preservation of gun ownership.

Though short of an endorsement, Paul sent a letter to his supporters last fall promoting Medina's run for governor.

“Debra has been a real defender of Liberty both in her home town of Wharton and across the state of Texas.” Paul wrote. “I am proud to call Debra Medina a friend, and as a fellow Texan, I encourage you to get to know her.”

Jillson said he believes Medina will fade just before the primary as voters decide “the real choice is between Perry and Hutchison,” unless an angry electorate decides to send a message that by voting for Medina it is a “pox on both your houses.”
Perry in lead, polls show

The Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Sunday found Perry leading with 43 percent support to Hutchison's 33 percent and Medina's 12 percent. The survey of 831 likely Republican voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Another of the company's surveys conducted Sunday found Perry and Hutchison both leading Democratic former Houston Mayor Bill White in a general election match-up. Perry led 50 percent to 40 percent; Hutchison, 52 percent to 37 percent. White was ahead of Medina 44 percent to 38 percent.

“This campaign has given people other choices,” Medina said.

“The one side of the game where Debra Medina will have a hard time is the money game,” said Lutz.

In the second half of last year, Medina raised about $191,000, while Perry and Hutchison raised millions.

01-20-2010, 04:45 AM

01-20-2010, 07:48 AM
“The one side of the game where Debra Medina will have a hard time is the money game,” said Lutz.

In the second half of last year, Medina raised about $191,000, while Perry and Hutchison raised millions.

She really needs a good performance in the Jan 29 debate to set us up the (money) bomb.