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Perry camp confident in win

Nov. 3, 2006

Associated Press
Gov. Rick Perry steps off his campaign bus to greet supporters at a rally on his tour. Perry's campaign is confident it will arise victorious after the gubernatorial election ends Tuesday

Staff writer

After rounding up his "Proud of Texas" tour Monday, Republican Gov. Rick Perry headed to Washington, D.C., with a smile on his face, unfazed by his opponents' final efforts to upset the polls.

In a poll conducted earlier this week by the Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV, Perry led the pack with 38 percent of the votes, leaving all other candidates in the dust. Democratic candidate Chris Bell and Independent candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn trailed behind Perry with 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively, while Independent candidate Kinky Friedman pulled up the rear with 10.5 percent.

"The governor is in good shape," said Robert Black, a Perry spokesman. "We believe he will win and win handily."

While Perry left the state only a few days before election day, he left plenty of political advertisements floating across the airwaves of Texas. They are targeted specifically at Strayhorn and Bell, playing off the"Real Men of Genius" Bud Light advertisements.

In the ads, Perry attacked Strayhorn as "Mrs. Corrupt Comptroller Politician Woman" and Bell as "Mr. Way Too Liberal for Texas."

As of Saturday, Perry held $2.9 million for additional advertising, according to the Austin American-Statesman on Oct. 31.

Perry is pushing three priorities in his campaign - education, job creation and border security.

He boasts increasing public education funding, creating more than 630,000 jobs in Texas and taking action against illegal immigration before President Bush.

First Lady Anita Perry spoke on these issues on tour, picking up where Perry left off.

She made her way across Central Texas on Tuesday with an early stop in Temple, where supporters rallied together sporting Gov. Perry stickers and signs.

"Today, I ask for your continued support for the only conservative candidate willing to put Texas' best interest first," she said.

With enthusiasm, she noted that thousands of new jobs had been created in Texas in the last three years.

"More Texans have jobs than ever before," she said.

Education funding is also on the rise with school funding up by $9 million and teachers receiving pay raises across the state, she said.

"The advancements in this area are a testament to Rick's leadership and vision and have created a better future for the children of Texas," she said.

Ending on increased border security, she noted how quickly Perry took action against illegal immigrants. "Nothing threatens our future more than protection of our borders," she said. "With millions of dollars from the governor's office, he's putting more boots on the ground, more helicopters in the sky and more resources into the hands of border law officers."

"And it's working," she said.

She concluded the rally by urging people to get out and vote.

"We cannot let apathy beat us," she said.

Aside from Perry's achievements, a major controversy circling Perry is the Trans-Texas Corridor, which requires the use of eminent domain by the state.But Yolanda Mares, vice president of Central Texas Republican Women, believes people will come around.

"If everybody understands it's for the good of the community, they'll go beyond the pit falls the Democrats are trying to throw Perry's way," Mares said.

Supporters of the Trans-Texas Corridor estimate that the current population of 22 million in Texas will boom to 36 million by 2030, meaning the already overcrowded highways across the state will have to squeeze in 12 million more motorists.

"If people become more educated about the issues, they'll accept them," Mares said.

Perry became the 47th Governor of Texas in 2000. Starting off his career, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force from 1972 to 1977, served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, four terms in the Texas House of Representatives and and won the Lieutenant Governor's race in 1998.

"He is the only candidate with a record of achievement," Black said. "Amongst governors in the United States, he has a record that is unparalleled."