HOUSTON (KXAN) - Already having received money from more than 9,000 donors, BillWhite has some ammunition in his camp; but it will be a tough roadto break 15 years of tradition.
"There is no doubt I start out as an underdog," White said. "Itis a David versus Goliath. I'm running against a career politicianwho has been running statewide for 19 years."
As mayor of Houston for three terms and having won more than 80percent of the vote in two of those elections, White has experienceappealing to voters in both parties. But, pulling those numbers ina statewide election is an entirely different beast. Immediatelyafter White was announced the winner on Tuesday, the RepublicanGovernor's Association made its position clear.
"Let’s just say we would be a lot more concerned if BillWhite were the Democratic candidate in New York where hisrun-up-the-debt fiscal policies, protection of illegal immigrants,and staunch support for President Obama’s leftist agendamight be a bit more palatable," read the association'sstatement.
But, White said he is confident he can convince voters acrossthe state to give him the same regard as the Houstonians he wonover as mayor.
"In the past week, 10 days, I was in 20 cities," said White."People were familiar with what we did here in Houston and theywere impressed. That is the best form of advertising. Anyone candream up a TV commercial."
White has consistently referred to Perry as a master politicianwho can "manipulate" emotions. Painting himself as the everyman,White said his experience in the private sector will set him apartfrom his competitor.
"Part of my base are fiscal conservatives," White said. "I havecut tax rates five straight times. I believe in running governmentlean."
White's plan to turn Texas blue focuses on the two E's:education and employment.
"We have now almost a million Texans who are unemployed," hesaid. "That is the highest number we can find on record in thehistory of our state."
When it comes to education, White said higher tuition rates,drop out rates and low test scores give Texas a bad name and pavean uncertain future for the state.
When asked about Perry's biggest vulnerability, White respondedwith "his job performance."
It's a message White will likely repeat often as he plans tocommunicate with millions of Texans in an effort to make White ahousehold name.
"Now, I have to spend a little more time on the road," hesaid.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
The U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin next year will be held Nov. 2 and F1 weekend will not coincide with a UT Longhorns home football game.
One woman died early Wednesday after several shots were fired at a North Austin mechanic shop.
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