Hutchison mum on resignation



Posted on March 4, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 4 at 7:33 PM

WEST LAKE HILLS -- Several times during her unsuccessful attempt to make it to the general election, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison promised to resign her Senate seat, but as of Thursday there’s still no word from the senator on when or even if she'll fulfill that campaign promise, now that the campaign is over.

On primary election eve, Hutchison rallied supporters at a coffee shop in West Lake Hills; after the election, a newspaper right outside proclaims Hutchison’s plans for her Senate seat are still a mystery.

“I'm sure she wants to follow through with what she said she would do, but maybe her best place is to stay,” said Megan Williams, voter.

Voters shopping nearby are split on what Hutchison should do.

“You said you were going to do it and are you really going to? I think it's really what’s in the best interest of the people,” said Chiffon Easter, voter.

Political science professor Brian Smith says resignation may have been an easy promise for Hutchison to make as a candidate for governor, "But when she's not governor, now she has to look and say, 'I'm unemployed.'"

Hutchison might not be the only one left empty-handed by her failed bid to work at the State Capitol. A long time in Washington gained her and Texas plenty of clout in the nation's capital.

“Being a senior member, she’s also on some really important committees,” Smith said.

Hutchison sits on the Transportation, Banking, Rules and very powerful Appropriations committee.

Those committee assignments have translated into dozens of projects across Texas, including the world's largest inland desalination plant.

It bears her name and it's helping meet water needs in West Texas.

“A newer member might not be able to get those real power positions. So Texas loses all that. All that deference, all that experience, all that power on the committee, Its gone,” Smith said.

Hutchison's current term doesn't expire until 2012.

The state's junior senator, John Cornyn, and other Republican Senate colleagues from around the country have publicly said they want Hutchison to stay in the Senate through at least then.

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