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Hutchison, Perry Spar Early in Texas Gov Race

Texas Republicans have been bracing themselves for a brutal 2010 primary battle between incumbent Gov. Rick Perry and his big-time challenger, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Few should have been surprised, then, that verbal sparring broke out immediately on Monday, as Hutchison officially kicked off her long-anticipated bid for governor.

Hutchison’s campaign announcement speech, which she delivered Monday morning at a high school near Houston, criticized Perry on a wide array of issues, including taxes, education and health care.

Hutchison also reiterated one of the themes of her nascent campaign: that it is time for a fresh face and new ideas in the governor’s office. Perry — who moved up from lieutenant governor in late 2000 after then-incumbent Gov. George W. Bush won for president — was elected in 2002 and 2006, and his challenger contends that a third full term would be too much.

“Ten years is enough,” said Hutchison. “We can do better.”

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