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Texas: Bonilla Endorses Jones in GOP Senate Race

Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones (R) announced Monday that former Rep. Henry Bonilla (R) had endorsing her bid to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), who is running for governor and plans to step down from her Senate seat next year.

“Elizabeth Ames Jones is the conservative leader Texas needs in Washington,— said Bonilla, a seven-term Congressman who hails from San Antonio. “During my time in Congress, I was able to get to know what Elizabeth is truly made of. … She has the know-how and determination to tackle the critical issues facing our country head-on, to be an effective leader, and to represent Texas with distinction.—

Ames Jones, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) to the Texas Railroad Commission in 2005, is one of a slew of candidates who have been campaigning for months and raising millions of dollars with the expectation that Hutchison will vacate her seat even though she is not up for re-election until 2012.

Other Republican candidates include fellow state railroad commissioner Michael Williams; former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams; state Sen. Florence Shapiro; and Andrew “Cas— Castanuela, an Air Force veteran. Former state Comptroller John Sharp (D) is also running.

Hutchison, who is challenging Perry in the gubernatorial primary, has yet to announce a specific date that she will leave the Senate. The Senator has said she will not resign before the gubernatorial primary. But if she resigns on or before April 2 — a month after the March 2 gubernatorial primary — a Senate special election could take place in May. The next possible date for a special election is Nov. 2, the same date as the national midterm elections.

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