Sen. Hutchison is preparing to announce that she will not seek reelection in 2012.
The race for her seat will immediately begin. Already in the race for the Republican nomination are: Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams; Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones; and former Secretary of State Roger Williams. Expect former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz to quickly announce that he is in the race, and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert will also jump in.
All eyes then turn to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. If he runs, he becomes the frontrunner because of his statewide visibility and his personal wealth. Dewhurst will wait until after the legislative session before formally announcing his decision on whether or not to run.
Democrats who will look at the race include former Comptroller John Sharp.