Breathing fire at an Obama-led federal government he says has Texas in its crosshairs, two-term incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry claimed his party's nomination with more than 50 percent of the vote, avoiding a run off against three-term Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Hutchison was once seen as the candidate who could deliver Perry's first election loss in a lifetime of public office, but the governor, a darling of the social conservatives, forcefully painted the senator as too entrenched in Washington politics.
Speaking at his election night party in Driftwood after Hutchison conceded, Perry said he would unite a fractured Texas Republican Party in the November general election and stressed that Washington politics had no place in the Lone Star state.
Despite facing off against two opponents, Perry still crossed the 50% threshhold and avoided a run off. Perry will face former Houston Mayor Bill White in November.