Texas Farm Bureau backs Hutchison for governor

Texas U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison landed a coveted endorsement from the Texas Farm Bureau, which some expected would go to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who was the state's agriculture commissioner, on Monday in her bid to become the next Texas governor.

Farm Bureau officials say that they did not make the decision lightly, but that it was not difficult because it involves "a matter of trust."

"This is the most important race for governor in a long time," Kenneth Dierschke, president of the Texas Farm Bureau, said in a statement read at a local news conference. "For the future of Texas, we call for new leadership. We call for new ideas and a new vision. We know that Texans will trust Gov. Hutchison in the same way we’ve always trusted Sen. Hutchison."

Perry has received the Texas Farm Bureau’s endorsement in the past, but some group members say they’ve lost faith in him and his support of private property rights. They cite his veto of an eminent domain bill in 2006 and support for the shelved Trans-Texas Corridor toll road proposal that would have eaten up ranch and farm land across the state.

The endorsement gives Hutchison a coup in snaring a group that has backed Perry, an alumnus of Texas A&M who grew up on a West Texas farm. But Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor retains strong support among "rank-and-file farmers," adding, "We’re confident we’ll have their support."

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