Hans Klingler, Communications Director
Austin, TX – Officially announcing her historic campaign for governor, Kay Bailey Hutchison delivered the following remarks as prepared for delivery in La Marque, Texas, at 8:00 a.m. CT:
“It is with pride and humility for history that I announce today that I am a candidate for Governor of Texas.
“Texas is like no other place on earth. It started on March 2, 1836 when our forefathers declared an end to tyranny with the Texas Declaration of Independence. Among the signers was my great, great grandfather, Charles S. Taylor. The great men who signed that document put their lives on the line, and their fate in the hands of God. Why did they do it? Because they yearned for freedom and they believed in Texas. Today, 173 years later, I’m running for Governor because I believe in Texas. And I know we can do better.
“Let me start by saying this about Rick Perry. He’s a dedicated public servant. I know he loves Texas. But now he’s trying to stay too long – 14 years, maybe longer.
“And after ten Perry years, where are we?
“Property taxes? Highest in the country.
“State debt? Doubled.
“Dropout rates? Among the highest.
“Uninsured children? Leading the nation.
“Private property rights? At risk.
“Ten years is enough. We can do better.
“In my administration, we will tackle these challenges. We will be specific, and direct. We will lay out a clear, conservative vision for the future of Texas. As Governor, I will focus on five areas: Fiscal policy, education, transportation, health care and government reform.
“For starters, I will spend less, tax less, and borrow less. Just look at Governor Perry’s new tax on business. It’s been called a ‘job killer’. More than 200,000 Texans lost their jobs this year. In the month of June alone, Texas lost more lost jobs than any state but one. And now we have the highest unemployment in the region. The Governor said he was ‘proud’ to sign his record tax increase. Well, I don’t call a job killing tax increase something to be proud of. I call it a tragic mistake.
“Taxes have increased and government has grown. Over the last ten years, Texas has added 30,000 new workers to the state payroll. And to make a political point, we turned down half a billion in federal money, sacrificed it to other states, and now we’re borrowing three times as much and sticking Texas business with the tab. That’s not conservative. That’s irresponsible. We can do better. It’s time for results, not politics.
“As governor, I want to help create an education system that prepares our children for the jobs of tomorrow. To begin, we will no longer accept one of the highest dropout rates in the country. Our students deserve quality teachers who are well educated and trained, and schools where bad teachers aren’t just transferred, but let go. But good teachers should be rewarded and they should have continuing opportunities for professional development. I will propose incentives for math and science teachers to earn a degree in what they teach.
“In Texas, discussion of basic education should no longer be K through 12, but pre-K through 14. We have to look for ways to support early childhood education efforts on the front end.
“And every child should have the support and encouragement to attend college. But those who don’t, must be trained with marketable skills to find a good job.
“Ignoring these fundamental challenges is a recipe for mediocrity. Or even worse: failure. We can do better. And our future depends on it.
“Today, TXDOT is the most arrogant, unaccountable state agency in the history of Texas. I will reform and expand the Commission. It should be more representative of all regions of our state. And it will seek and embrace local input. It is time to return to our tradition of free, quality highways and roads.
“Then there’s the Trans-Texas Corridor. The biggest land grab in the history of Texas. And the Governor wanted to turn it over to a foreign company to build toll roads. Well, they can call it the Trans-Texas Corridor. Or they can call it something different. But here’s what I will call it when I take the oath of office, dead, buried, history. We can do better.
“We must build a health care system that will leverage the vast resources of our state to bring health care options to the uninsured, and assistance to business owners so they can afford to provide it. And know this, while I’m in the Senate, I will spend every moment fighting this massive government takeover of our health care system. If you want to know what health care in Texas will look like when I’m governor, just imagine the exact opposite of what is proposed in Congress today. We will offer carrots, not sticks. Help, not fines.
“There’s another reality here in Texas. Too often our state government is doing what it shouldn’t, and isn’t doing what it should. When we have systemic abuse at the Texas Youth Commission, and fight clubs at state schools for the disabled, the last thing we need is government mandating vaccines for 6th grade girls or playing politics with a great university like Texas A&M.
“We need results, not politics. And that starts with term limits for Texas governor. For any Governor, eight years is enough. We can’t afford fourteen years of one person appointing every state board, agency and commission. It invites patronage. It tempts cronyism. And it has to stop, now.
“As Governor I will give our agencies a top to bottom scrubbing. I will appoint a Commission 2025 – respected scholars, business, agricultural representatives, and community leaders – to look at Texas state governance. What we should keep, what should go, and what should change.
“Finally, let me say this to every Texas Republican. For the last decade, the Republican Party in Texas has been shrinking. We’re losing elections we used to win easily. In Austin, we’ve gone from 88 seats in the House to 76 – just two away from losing the Texas house.
“As Republicans, we can continue down the road of shrinking majorities. Or we can inspire, unite, and grow our party. Rebuild it from the bottom up, and reach out to Texans and say, ‘If you are for limited government, lower taxes and less spending, we want you in the Republican Party, we welcome you and want you to be active in our cause.’ That’s how we will win elections, keep the majority and be worthy to lead our great state. And that’s what we’re going to do if I’m heading the Republican ticket.
“It’s time for a governor for all Texas. Join me and together we will make the Texas of tomorrow everything our children deserve.
“This is a special time in Texas.
“A time for principled leadership.
“A time for reform.
“And a time for results.
“We can do better.
“And together, we will.”