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SPOTLIGHT REPORT

2006 Independent Gubernatorial Candidates

Related Links:

• Carole Keeton Strayhorn for Governor
• Kinky Friedman for Governor
• Harvey Kronberg's The Quorum Report
 

The Lone Star State has always prided itself on independence. But when it comes to politics, independent candidates have not been very successful in Texas. Incumbent Governor Rick Perry and Democratic candidate Chris Bell have two well-known independent challengers gunning for control of the governor's mansion -- Carole Strayhorn, also known as "one tough grandma," and author and musician Kinky Friedman. Photo: The Capitol in AustinIf either of these two independents manages to win, it will be the first time since Sam Houston that an independent becomes governor.

Harvey Kronberg, political analyst and editor of The Quorum Report, knows that independents face an uphill challenge. "The hurdle to overcome is clearly intended to be a barrier to entry and prevent a lot of candidates from getting in. 45,000 signatures looks pretty serious, and it's not something that someone can do casually," opines Kronberg.

Seth Waits collected signatures for gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman. "A lot of hours have been spent with a clipboard in hand, collecting signatures one by one, but we get to see the smiling people, and the people that are very excited and energetic and ready to sign this petition and make something happen in November," reports Waits.

Will independent candidates Friedman and Strayhorn make it on November's ballot? Harvey Kronberg: "With 169,000 for Kinky Friedman, 225,000 for Strayhorn, I think that there's no doubt that they'll be on the ballot."

Now it's up to voters to decide if Texas will declare its independence.

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Produced by Elena Ramirez.

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