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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Kinky Friedman: The Next Governor of the State of Texas? 


Is the campaign to place Kinky Friedman on the ballot as an independent running for governor of Texas just another gag by the humorist, mystery novelist, and country singer?

Consider all these facts: Kinky's campaign manager is former Minnesota Senator Dean Barkley, who managed the successful campaign of Jesse Ventura when he ran as an independent for governor of Minnesota.

While the incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry remains the favorite to be reelected, a major split has developed in the Texas Republican Party and Perry's adminsitration.

State Comptroller Carole Strayhorn has recently announced that she is also entering this race. Although she is a Republican, she, too, will try to run as an independent. Strayhorn is quite well-connected: She is the mother of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Meanwhile, Friedman's campaign is steaming ahead. This Thursday, Jan, 12, he will be having a major fundraiser in Houston.

It will be hosted by noted fundraiser and philanthropist Dr. Carolyn Farb. There will be performances by country legends Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver. Also appearing will be comic Ruth Buzzi as well as Little Jewford, noted as the “last surviving member” of Kinky's original band, Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys.

And note this: To get in, minimum contributions are $500 per person.

So how are the voters in Texas reacting? Well, in a Zogby Poll in November, Perry still led with 41 percent, but Kinky had 21 percent. And that was before Strayhorn's defection from Perry, the recent round of positive media coverage for Kinky, and a shift in Kinky's campaign from mainly slinging comedic one-liners to putting forth real positions and explaining a viable strategy to win a race with several major candidates.

Now that sounds serious.

Thankfully, however, the Kinkster hasn't completely dropped his act. Just sit back and view the first KinkyToon and decide for yourself, whether you live somewhere down in Texas or somewhere else.

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