It’s been months now since anybody—maybe even the man himself—noticed that Kinky Friedman was running for governor. He’s been right busy, you know, what with promoting his book, Heroes of a Texas Childhood, and all. But with candidate-filing time upon us and the shifting Democratic field having changed Kinky’s prospects from long-shot to long-lost, you had to figure he would resurface sometime soon to let us know that he didn’t really mean it about running for governor as a Democrat. That day was supposed to be Monday, when Friedman had said he’d say something. But he didn’t, and meanwhile, the Austin American-Statesman was reporting that the Kinky for Governor site had shut down. The plot thickens… On Tuesday, the site was back up (with a most recent home-page update from Sept. 23, though the book events were all up-to-date). And Friedman let it be known that he (as one site put it) “needed a few more days to determine how his decision would affect the Democratic ticket.” If that’s what he’s really wondering, let’s give him a quick answer, shall we? It won’t matter for spit. Kinky Friedman’s exit from the governor’s race will have about as much effect on it as Debra Medina’s complaints about being excluded from Republican debates. A few people care. But, literally, a few. Friedman said he’d be meeting this week with Houston Mayor Bill White, who made his candidacy official last Friday, and hair-care magnate Farouk Shami, who also made it official last week and has started running TV ads as lynchpins of a campaign he promises to self-fund very generously. Bet they can’t wait. It’s a puzzler—but kind of an entertaining one—to try and imagine what Kinky might be asking the two Democratic candidates to promise him in exchange for an endorsement.
Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.