Boos erupt at mention of Dewhurst during Perry's Texas GOP speech

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by MARK WIGGINS / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarkW_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 7 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN -- With a fanfare reminiscent of his presidential campaign, Governor Rick Perry took the stage at the Texas GOP convention in Fort Worth to rally the troops.

Addressing a Republican home crowd in the nation's most populous red state, the governor opened things up with a jab at one of the state's few islands of blue.

"I bring you greetings from the Capital City, where the Democrat-controlled city motto is 'Keep Austin Weird,'" said Perry. "This week in Fort Worth, Texas, we have a different motto. It's 'Keep Texas Republican!'"

After a speech which focused mostly on touting the state's economic record and promoting his budget compact calling for more budget cuts, what most were talking about was a brief moment of awkwardness.

Perry, who endorsed Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate over Tea Party Express-backed Ted Cruz, drew a loud chorus of boos when he mentioned Dewhurst's name as a Republican Texans should send to Washington, D.C.

"I thought they were saying, 'Dew,'" Perry told KVUE's sister station WFAA when cornered after the speech.

Even with the party enjoying political hegemony in Texas, this weekend won't be all fun and games.

"They are going to have a bitter series of platform fights in their platform committee over immigration, over education, over tax policy," said longtime Texas politics watcher and Quorum Report editor Harvey Kronberg. "We have the Ron Paul faction that wants to be heard."

Despite acknowledging that he lacks the delegates to win the nomination in an e-mail to supporters Wednesday, some still hope to appoint supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Lake Jackson) to Texas' 155 member delegation who will back the congressman in the unlikely event the nomination process at the national convention goes to a second vote.

With Dewhurst himself among a full slate of Republican power players scheduled to sound off when the convention resumes Friday, it's just the start of a busy weekend in Fort Worth.

Texas Democrats kicked off their own state convention Thursday in Houston, where they are expected to name the party's first ever Hispanic state chair this weekend.

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