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      Pauken drops out of gubernatorial race

      When Governor Rick Perry announced in July that he would not be seeking re-election, candidates began lining up to fill his shoes. At one point, there were a total of 11 candidates from three parties. Now there are 10.

      Republican candidate Tom Pauken announced this afternoon (Dec. 5) that he was dropping out of the race, saying continuing would be unrealistic at best and irresponsible at worst.

      An excerpt from a letter sent out by Pauken??s office:

      ??Filing deadline is only days away, and I have to be realistic about our prospects. When I first filed our exploratory committee in March, I said at the time that there were certain, minimum objectives we needed to achieve to win the Republican nomination: (1) We had to raise a minimum of $2 million; (2) We had to build a strong, statewide organization; (3) We had to develop a major social media presence in a short period of time.

      Even though I have worked hard to get our message out across the state the past six months, unfortunately we are nowhere near where we need to be financially and organizationally to win this race. And, the primary is only three months away. I can no longer in good conscience ask friends and fellow conservatives to continue to help me when there appears to be no realistic path to victory.

      My travels across the state make clear that Texans are frustrated with the direction our nation is headed. I fervently believe that we need a new style of leadership in our Party that will unite Texans and Americans behind sound policies based on our conservative principles, and take the fight to the Left. On the issue of education, I have fought hard for a return to local control and more opportunities for vocational education. We have to end this cancer of insider cronyism which infects both parties as government becomes more our master, rather than our servant. Clearly, my message has not resonated with enough contributors, party leaders, and grassroots conservatives to show a pathway to victory. I wish it were otherwise. I believe my message is the right one to bring Texans and Americans together for the good of the country, but perhaps I am not the right messenger ?? or, it is not the right time.

      You have my assurance that I will continue the fight for our founding principles. But, under the circumstances I have decided not to file for the Republican nomination for Governor. ??

      Monday (Dec. 9) is the filing deadline for candidates, and the primaries will be held March 4th of next year. The general election will take place the following November.

      Current candidates are:


      Attorney General Greg Abbott

      Larry Kilgore

      Miriam Martinez

      Lisa Fritsch


      Sen. Wendy Davis

      Reynaldo Madrigal


      Gene Chapman

      Kathie Glass

      Lee Wrights

      Robert J. Bell

      For more on the gubernatorial race, follow the link attached to this story.