Texas has two people trying to run for governor as independents this year, which is no easy task in this state and hasn't been done in 100+ years.
To get on the ballot, each person had to gather up 45,540 signatures from people who didn't vote in the primaries. Those petitions are due today.
Self-proclaimed "Tough Grandma" Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn turned in her petition Tuesday. Reports are that she used a lot of boxes.
“As our staff is beginning to consolidate and organize all of the petitions that Ms. Strayhorn turned in yesterday, we have consolidated her 101 boxes (of petitions) down to 12,” says Scott Haywood, communications director for the Secretary of State’s office.
Haywood is not sure what the agency will do with the leftover cartons (all 101 delivered Tuesday were slapped with Strayhorn bumper stickers). He made it clear that Strayhorn did not fill boxes to the brim.
“If she had not been so hungry for media attention, we would not have had to waste time consolidating her petitions into a more usable format. By trying to get a bigger play in the media, she has made the process more time-consuming for our office.”
McClellann said Strayhorn’s campaign organized the petitions in 101 sets. “Try organizing one box full or carrying one full,” McClellan said. “It’s a shame they waste time doing this cheap partisan attack.”
They don't get along because of Strayhorn's lawsuit attempting to get the signature verification process sped up so there's no telling what's going on over here. I'm leaning towards the Strayhorn camp over-inflating what they have, but then again I'm really cynical when it comes to politicians.
On the other side, humorist, singer and mystery writer Kinky Friedman is turning his petitions in today and they seem to be confident that they've got enough.
During the past two months, independent Texans across this great state -- from the Piney Woods to the Great Trans-Pecos, from the Llano Estacado to the Rio Grande Valley -- have signed the petition to put Kinky on the ballot and give voters a real choice on election day.
This Thursday, Kinky will announce that his name will appear on the November ballot as he turns in tens of thousands of YOUR signatures to the Secretary of State.
The blog entry I linked to earlier mentions his plans for turning his in too.
Side note: Independent hopeful Kinky Friedman plans to deliver his voter signatures at midday Thursday; he intends to cruise in from his South Austin headquarters with a police motorcyle escort. (He kind of needs it to slip the usual backed-up traffic on Ben White Boulevard and Interstate Highway 35.)
FYI: IH-35 through Austin is a parking lot more hours than it isn't.
The Texas Secretary of State tells us that he'll have the petitions validated and we'll know weither or not they make the ballot in about six weeks.
UPDATE: The AP is reporting that Kinky Friedman turned in 169,574 signatures on his petition. The number is provided by the campaign, not the official, verified number from the SoS office.
(Cross-posted at PyjamasMedia.com)