Kay Bailey Hutchison won’t be running for reelection in 2012, she announced today in an open letter saying she wanted to live “full-time in Texas with my family.” The three-term Republican said that announcing the move early “should give the people of Texas ample time to consider who my successor will be.” A large field of candidates will likely vie for the job, in what the Houston Chronicle believes will be a “wild scramble.”
Hutchison had originally promised to resign when she ran for governor last year, but then changed her mind. “I intended to leave this office long before now,” she said today, “but I was persuaded to continue in order to avoid disadvantage to our state.” She also may have faced a primary challenge, the Huffington Post notes; one Tea Party activist recently remarked that she "personifies everything that the Tea Party is fighting. ... When you check her votes on many issues, they are not ones that conservatives are happy with."