Friedman tours West Texas

By Harry T. Darby / PUBLISHER

Writer, musician, and now politician Richard "Kinky" Friedman barnstormed the Big Bend region over the Labor Day holiday drumming up support of his 2006 Gubernatorial campaign.

"Today, Texans have no choice for their leadership except paper or plastic," said Friedman on his decision to run for office. "Texas was founded by independent, courageous, honorable citizens. The last great independent elected governor of Texas was Sam Houston, over 150 ago. Texas needs a strong independent voice if it is ever to regain its greatness."

Friedman, who insists that his campaign is neither a joke nor publicity stunt, made several scheduled appearances around the area and several more unscheduled short stump speeches wherever ever a crowd would gather.

On the campus of Sul Ross State University Friedman relayed to a crowd of mostly students that he didn't have the answer to everything but was smart enough to find the people who do. "Teachers are my heroes, along with police, soldiers, firefighters and cowboys. Each of us remembers a teacher who made an impact and changed our lives for the better. I intend to identify these special people and seek their advice in creating a vibrant, responsive and forward-looking education system for Texas."

The Texas correctional system was also a major campaign plank during the visit. "I'm not anti-death penalty, I'm just anti-killing the wrong person. Two thousand years ago an innocent man named Jesus Christ was executed; my question is, what have we learned in 2,000 years?"

Although Friedman was a popular draw in the area he is still a long way from the governor's mansion.

He will need to collect just over 45,000 signatures of registered voters starting from the end of the Republican and Democratic primaries through May 8. Those voting in either primary will have their signature invalidated for the petition. For more information on Friedman and his campaign log on to