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7:30am — Texas Governor Race Just Got a Lot Less Interesting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Humorist/raconteur Kinky Friedman drops out to run for state ag commissioner.

Satirist/songwriter/novelist Kinky Friedman, who came in fourth running as an independent in Texas’ 2006 governor’s race, has dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010, choosing to run for state agriculture commissioner instead, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.

Friedman’s name identification had made him an early favorite for the Democratic nomination, but said he changed his mind after meeting over the weekend with current Democratic front-runners, outgoing Houston Mayor Bill White and millionair hair-care mogul Farouk Shami, as well as former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, the Chronicle said.

“I’m confident that that the torch for many of my issues will be carried forward in November, and now, we’ll do our part by campaigning hard to represent our party and the people of Texas, starting with protecting our farmlands, not give them away to Spain,” said Friedman, referring to the Trans Texas Corridor project that was to be financed by a Spanish company, the paper reported.

The decision puts Friedman in conflict with Tyler, Texas-area rancher Hank Gilbert, who dropped out of the governor’s race on Dec. 4 to run for agriculture commissioner, the Chronicle said.

“Since exploring a race for governor, Kinky has had a cigar promotion tour, a book promotion tour and a documentary released about his last run, all in an attempt to promote his publishing and business interests,” Gilbert said. “He doesn’t care about running for office for the sake of helping people.”



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