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Texas Gov. Perry doesn't consider Hutchison an opponent

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is spending the week telling supporters around the state she's running for governor, but Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday he's still not convinced anyone is going to challenge him in next year's primary.

Perry was in Dallas this afternoon to ceremonially sign two energy bills. Though he didn't mention Hutchison by name, he made several references to how the "Washington" approach to public policy continues to fail Texas.

When asked by reporters about Hutchison's statewide announcement tour this week, Perry maintained as he has all summer that he wasn't sure he would have a primary opponent next year.

"I don't know who all is going to be in a primary (or) even if I'm going to have a primary or not," Perry said. He said the shape of the contest won't be known until "there is finally a filing."

No statewide candidate can file for a place on the March 2010 primary ballot until December. However, Hutchison officially appointed a campaign treasurer in a bid for governor in December 2008, according to the Texas Secretary of State site.

Was Perry saying that he won't consider Hutchison an opponent for the next three months? Yes, according to Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner.

"Until everyone files, wait and see," Miner said, adding that he didn't think Hutchison's announcement tour was going well, casting doubt on whether she will see the campaign through.

Hutchison's campaign was quick to respond.

"Rick Perry is right, there is a candidate in this race out of touch with reality, him," Hutchison said in a statement.

Read more at Star-Telegram

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