The PJ Tatler

More than you ever wanted to know about Texas constitutional succession

This afternoon I did another interview with KTRH in Houston, this time regarding what would happen if Gov. Perry runs for the White House at the same time as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst runs for the Senate seeing left open by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s retirement.  That would create a vacuum of power at the top of the state government. The Texas constitution does spell out a long line of succession.  Power passes from the governor to the lieutenant governor upon incapacitation or resignation (the latter is how Gov. Perry actually became governor to begin with — Gov. George W. Bush resigned to become the 43rd President, and Lt. Gov. Perry moved up and has since been re-elected on his own in 2002, 2006 and 2010), and from the lt. gov. power passes to the president pro tem of the state Senate, state Senator Steve Ogden as of the opening of the 82nd Session last week, and from there to the state attorney general, to the chief judges of the state appeals court.

Bottom line: I don’t think Gov. Perry is running, but if he does, Texas will be in fine shape.  There are no Democrats anywhere close to succeeding him as governor.