The swirling force of Texas politics

Perry Listens to Lobbyists, Not Texans: Hutchison

By Omar Villafranca
|  Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010  |  Updated 10:22 AM CDT
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February Poll Shows Perry With 15-Point Lead

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Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, left, and current Gov. Rick Perry are going head-to-head in the race for Texas governor in 2010.

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February Poll Shows Perry With 15-Point Lead

The latest Rasmussen Poll, taken just days after the last televised Republican gubernatorial debate, shows Perry with a 44 percent to 29 percent advantage over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
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Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison spent her Tuesday in Dallas, reminding voters about something Gov. Rick Perry did three years ago.

Back in 2007, Perry mandated that sixth grade girls in Texas to receive an HPV vaccine to prevent types of cervical cancer. The vaccine, produced by Merck, is also known as Gardasil. The news of the mandate spread across the country, and it was later defeated by the legislature.

"This mandate was driven by lobbyists and special interests in Austin," Hutchison told the crowd.

Hutchison also told the crowd that the mandate's moratorium runs out in 2011, and her campaign referenced a "HPV clock" on when the moratorium ends.

"The only way to ensure that parental rights are not trampled on to help out a lobbyist friend is to elect someone who will put Texans first,“ Hutchison said in a statement.

In a televised debate last week, Perry told the panelists that his support of the vaccine was a "pro-life" issue.

In Dallas, Perry said the mandate had nothing to do with ties to lobbyists, and instead brushed off Hutchison's comments.

"I kind of disagree. But here's the bigger issue. I think Texans want a governor that is looking forward, not a governor that is looking backwards," Perry said.

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