Hutchison's U.S. Senate seat sparks a waiting game

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison hasn't announced whether she will resign, as she has said she would after the GOP gubernatorial primary, but that's not stopping most of those who want her U.S. Senate seat.

They are campaigning and raising money for the race.

"We've always looked at the fact that we need to be ready when there's an opening," said former Secretary of State Roger Williams, one of several Texans who have announced that they'll run for the Senate seat when it is open. "Really, nothing changes for me. We'll continue to do what we're doing."

That's the case for most of the candidates, who long ago threw their hats in the ring to take Hutchison's place -- whether this year or in 2012.

Others who have expressed interest include fellow Republicans Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones, both railroad commissioners, and state Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano. So far one Democrat, former state Comptroller John Sharp, has said he'll run.

While several high-ranking Republicans, including Hutchison's chief rival in the gubernatorial race, have encouraged her to stay in the Senate, she has said she wants to come home. She and her husband have already sold their 4,300-square-foot house in McLean, Va. And she may want to settle in just one location for their 8-year-old children, Bailey and Houston.

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