State Comptroller Susan Combs, an Austin Republican who contemplated a run for lieutenant governor in 2014, instead announced Wednesday that she will retire from elective politics when her term ends in 18 months.
The sudden vacancy in one of the big six statewide offices set off a flurry of announcements by would-be successors and other Republicans testing the waters, including several members of the Legislature and a former gubernatorial candidate — with no clear front-runner for the moment.
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Announced and potential Republican candidates for comptroller:
• State Sen. Tommy Williams of The Woodlands, chairman of the Finance Committee, said he will explore a run after the Legislature’s special session, begun Monday, winds down.
• State Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy was more definite, saying he will campaign for comptroller while remaining in his Senate seat.
• State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran of Kerrville, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he is “putting the pieces in place for a statewide run in 2014, and I will have a formal political announcement very soon.”
• Debra Medina, a tea party activist who received 19 percent of the vote in 2010’s three-way GOP primary for governor in 2010, confirmed that she will seek the office.
• Other Republicans mentioned as potential candidates include former House speaker and current state Rep. Tom Craddick of Midland and former state Rep. Raul Torres of Corpus Christi.