AUSTIN, Texas – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison conceded the Republican nomination for Texas governor to Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday night following a heated, multimillion-dollar fight between the party heavyweights.
Hutchison told supporters in Dallas that she called Perry once she believed the election results were clear.
“We have fought valiantly for our principles, but we did not win,” she said.
Perry, Texas’ longest-serving governor, had 52 percent of the vote compared to Hutchinson’s 31 percent, with nearly half of precincts reporting.
GOP party activist Debra Medina, a favorite among many tea party voters, had about 18 percent.
Perry, who’s seeking a third full term in office, spent months battering Hutchison with an anti-Washington message and accused her of being part of a big-spending crowd in the nation’s capital.
Hutchison countered by saying Perry was trying to stay in office too long, and had allowed arrogance and cronyism to creep into state government.
All three candidates cast themselves as the true conservative. But the contest shaped up to become a bout between Perry and Hutchison in a clash unlike any GOP primary the state has seen since Republicans began taking over state government in the 1990s.
Ex-Houston Mayor Bill White defeated Houston hair care magnate Farouk Shami and five others on Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination for governor.