FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has yet to decide if she will run for governor in 2006, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reports.
Whether she does or not, the paper said, Hutchison vowed she would not be swayed by political forces who want to keep her out of the race.
"I have heard that some people will put in whatever it takes to defeat me. But that is of no consequence to me," Hutchison said following a speech to a group of business leaders.
The state's senior senator said she will most likely decide this summer whether to take on Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a divisive inter-party battle. Waiting in the wings for Hutchison to decide is Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who has hinted broadly she will challenge Perry if Hutchison does not.
Hutchison denied speculation President Bush or Republicans close to him have attempted to persuade her to stay put rather than create a party rift.
"The president," she said, "would not get involved."
"I just want to see what the lay of the land is" after the current session of the Texas Legislature ends, Hutchison said. "I'll certainly take into consideration all of the factors."