December 26, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: KTRK: Kinky Friedman making serious financial bid in governor's race

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malaysia: Special Report: Author, Humorist and Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: RPCV Kinky Friedman (Malaysia) : December 8, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: Houston Chronicle: Kinky Friedman files papers to run for governor : December 26, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: KTRK: Kinky Friedman making serious financial bid in governor's race

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Kinky Friedman making serious financial bid in governor's race

Kinky Friedman making serious financial bid in governor's race

"I think we're hanging in like a hair in a biscuit and I think the Lord has blessed this campaign," Friedman told us. Author, Musician, and candidate for Governor of Texas, Kinky Friedman served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia in the 1960's.

Kinky Friedman making serious financial bid in governor's race

Kinky Friedman making serious financial bid in governor's race

Money coming in for gubernatorial candidate 'Kinky' Friedman

KTRK By Tom Abrahams

(12/26/05) - The battle lines are drawn for next year's governor's race and it could be the most interesting Texas campaign in years.

On the Republican side, there's incumbent Rick Perry and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Former Houston Congressman Chris Bell is running as a Democrat and musician Kinky Friedman is in the race as an independent. He, of course, is known for his humor, but Friedman is making a serious financial run at the office.

"I think we're hanging in like a hair in a biscuit and I think the Lord has blessed this campaign," Friedman told us.

But in between puffs of smoke on a Cuban cigar, he admits there is nothing funny about the money it will take to win.

"We estimate that once we're on the ballot, we estimate we need six or seven million dollars at that point to really be competitive," said Friedman.

He is off to a good start, estimating that when he files his next campaign report, he'll have raised close to a million dollars.

"I think lots of people have been very generous," he said.

Consider the most recent report, which showed contributions between July and August. Friedman raised more than $90,000. Compare that to the only major Democrat in the race -- former Houston Congressman Chris Bell. During the same period, he brought in just $18,000. His campaign wouldn't talk to us about fundraising.

"Kinky has been very successful at raising money," said former political advisor Russell Verney. "Unfortunately, the money he's raised is going to go to the preliminary step of being able to get on the ballot."

Verney should know. He helped two time presidential candidate Ross Perot get on the ballot in Texas and says the cards are generally stacked against hopefuls like Friedman.

"The cost for him to get on the ballot is far greater than the cost for any Republican or Democrat candidate to get on the ballot," said Verney.

Friedman will likely have to pay professionals to help him get the needed 45,000 signatures to get on the ballot. And they have to come from registered voters who don't cast a ballot in a primary, which is why Friedman believes to be competitive, if he gets on the ballot, he'll need another six or seven million dollars.

"There's a lot more coming," said Friedman. "It's looking very good. And it's a shame. It's a shame that money is gonna determine who's gonna win this thing."

So the questions now are, can Friedman use the money he's raised to get on the ballot? And if he does, can he make more of a run at incumbent Rick Perry than anyone from an established political party?

The next deadline for all candidates to file campaign contributions with the state ethics commission is January 15. We'll keep you posted.
(Copyright © 2005, KTRK-TV)

When this story was posted in January 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: KTRK

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