The swirling force of Texas politics

Houston Mayor Rips Gov. Perry; Defends White, Houston

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    WASHINGTON - MAY 03: Texas Governor Rick Perry participates in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit on "the role of free enterprise in job creation" at the chamber May 3, 2010 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a study before the summit highlighting "free enterprise principles," including entrepreneurship, open trade and competitive tax rates, benefit states when creating jobs. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rick Perry

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker says Texas Gov. Rick Perry's attacks on her predecessor, Democrat Bill White, unfairly smeared the nation's fourth largest city as a financial mess.

    Perry is running against White, elected Houston mayor in 2003 and replaced by Parker this year, in an increasingly nasty election. Parker said on Wednesday that Perry, a Republican, was a "long, long, long serving elected official trying desperately to hold on to his position." Perry is the state's longest serving governor.

    She says Perry's ads and statements mischaracterized White's stewardship of the city and the financial shape it's in now.

    Parker, the first openly gay mayor of Houston, told reporters she would remain officially neutral in the governor's race but said she was going to vote for White.