New Player In The Race To Replace Sen. Hutchison: Hutchison Herself | KERA News

New Player In The Race To Replace Sen. Hutchison: Hutchison Herself

Nov 1, 2012

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Kay Bailey weighs in, another headline for Big Tex, kids save a buck and more.

So far this political season, retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has steered clear of the campaign trail. But today she joined her fellow senator, John Cornyn, to support the Republican trying to succeed her, Ted Cruz. The three appeared together at an early voting center, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Dallas.

During the bruising primary campaign, neither Hutchison nor Cornyn endorsed Cruz or his opponent, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. It was unclear what she thought of Cruz’s Tea Party ties, given the Tea Party support that helped Gov. Rick Perry defeat her in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison takes the mic outside a Dallas early voting center, flanked by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (left) and the Republican who hopes to replace her, Ted Cruz.
Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News

But after Cruz toppled Dewhurst, Hutchison offered her support.

Cruz’s Democratic foe, Paul Sadler, brought his long-shot campaign to North Texas yesterday. And curiously, several times during this campaign, Sadler has invoked “Kay’s” name in complimenting her bipartisan work.

-- Shelley Kofler and Bill Zeeble

It’s Not Too Late To Vote Early

Tomorrow is the final day for Texans to vote early in the 2012 general election.

Steve Raborn, Tarrant County’s elections administrator, expects to see lines at early voting locations during the last two days. He says the early turnout in Tarrant this year has surpassed the record-breaking 2008 numbers.

Dallas County also reported a strong turnout at the start of early voting but number are down slightly from ’08.

Early voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow. And if you can’t make it by then, there still is Election Day on Tuesday. (And by the way, more people are registered this year in Texas than ever before -- 13 million-plus of us.)

-- BJ Austin

Zombie Tex Rises From The Dead On Halloween

Trick-or-treaters in University Park got a bit of a jolt last night. There, sitting in Wayne Smith’s driveway, was the disembodied head of Big Tex -- as if he’d never burned to the ground last month at the State Fair of Texas.

The Dallas Morning News (sorry, there’s a paywall) has the story of how Smith bought the Big Guy’s worn-out noggin for $1,700 at an auction almost 20 years ago  -- the fair was building a replacement -- and restored it with a lot of plaster and papier mache. Some classic then-and-now photos on the DMN site, too.

-- Rick Holter

Fort Worth Kids Learning To Save Money

Cash counts -- even (especially?) when you’re a kid.

So the Fort Worth school district is teaming up with Comerica bank to teach students the value of a dollar.

The program allows students in grades K-8 to open and balance their own account, receive monthly statements and even pretend-work as a bank employee.

The program sounds like a good idea in any kind of economy. And while we’re pretty sure there won’t be any stodgy old men singing about money, we can’t help but think of one particular movie scene.

-- Justin Martin

One Big Winner Amid Sandy’s Huge Losses

While New York and New Jersey continue the struggle to reboot after superstorm Sandy, the folks at the Weather Channel are electrified.

The haven for weather geeks (including this one) had more viewers Sunday -- an average of more than 1 million -- than any other cable news channel, Reuters reports. And Monday, the channel’s web page,, had its biggest day ever, with 300 million page views.

-- Rick Holter