Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has told local a Texas radio station that she is leaving the Senate later this year to pursue the governorship of her state, according to TalkingPointsMemo.com. Her departure, which was not a surprise, will result in an interim appointment from current Gov. Rick Perry (R) and a special election in May 2010 to fill out her term, which runs through 2012.
RBR/TVBR observation: Although Republicans will be heavily favored to hold the seat, it is less secure without an incumbent to run, and low-turnout special elections often produce unexpected results. Tip for Texas broadcasters: Both national party organizations will be able to spend freely with a very big prize on the table and no other immediate distractions.