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Some Texas Lawmakers Hold Out on Endorsing — 2012 Presidential Election _ The Texas Tribune

Some Texas Lawmakers Hold Out on Endorsing — 2012 Presidential Election _ The Texas Tribune

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3/8/12Some Texas Lawmakers Hold Out on Endorsing 2012 Presidential Election | The Texas Tribune1/3texastribune.org/texas-politics/…/some-texas-lawmakers-hold-out-endorsements/ 
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graphic by: Todd Wiseman / Bob Daemmrich
Some Texas Lawmakers Hold Out on Endorsing
by Elizabeth Titus12/5/2011
 WASHINGTON — As the long slog toward thepresidential nomination continues, at least 10Texas Republicans in Congress have yet topick a candidate.Some quickly endorsed Gov.Rick Perry whenhe jumped into the race in August. Twodecided, before that, to back former HouseSpeaker Newt Gingrich. Rep.Lamar Smithof San Antonio made a high-profile endorsementof former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusettsin October. And Rep.Ron Paulis a candidate.That leaves at least eight Republicans in the House, plus Sens.John CornynandKay Bailey  Hutchison, both Republicans, in the undecided column. The indecision, experts say, couldreflect lawmakers’ allegiance to fellow Texans, or they may just be waiting for the perfectmoment to strike a deal in exchange for their support.Hutchison, who challenged Perry for governor in 2010, told The Texas Tribune last week thatshe was leaning toward not endorsing anyone. She has said she will support whoever becomesthe Republican nominee.Cornyn has said he will not make a primary endorsement because he does not want to bedistracted from his work leading the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
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 A few of the undecided members have hinted at who they support with their donations. Rep.Louie Gohmertof Tyler has given $2,500 to Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Perry hasreceived $5,000 from Rep.Bill Floresof Bryan and his wife and $2,000 from Rep.Kay Granger of Fort Worth.Representatives for all three lawmakers said the contributions did not signal formalendorsements.
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Other undecided Texas Republicans include Reps.Pete Olsonof Sugar Land,Ted Poeof  Humble andMac Thornberry of Clarendon. A spokeswoman for Rep.Francisco Cansecoof San  Antonio did not return requests for comment on whether he is still undecided, as he was inOctober.Those who have not made up their minds give varying reasons.“I don’t want to take the fun out of watching the race by picking somebody right now,” saidRep.Blake Farentholdof Corpus Christi. He is leaning toward endorsing Perry, but “you worry he’s not going to be able to pull it off,” he said.RepresentativeKevin Brady of Conroe said he was still anxious to hear the candidates’ ideas onSocial Security, Medicare, tax reform and trade and he has not decided whether to endorseanyone.Lawmakers may be holding on to their endorsements as bargaining chips, or they may be torn between the candidate they favor and the one who seems more likely to win, said BruceBuchanan, a government professor at the University of Texas.The landscape may also reflect something about state politics for lawmakers who find neitherPaul nor Perry palatable.It could be “some sort of allegiance to Texas,” saidSherri Greenberg, the interim director of theCenter for Politics and Governance at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and a former statelawmaker, "with the feeling of, ‘Well, if I’m not going to affirmatively endorse a Texan, I’m justgoing to stay out altogether.’”
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