Hutchison May Leave Early, Won't Seek Re-election

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WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has told Texas Monthly that she won't seek re-election after this term and may leave the Senate as early as 2009.

Excerpts are on the magazine's Web blog.

Hutchison, in an interview to be fully published in December, said she'd end her Senate career in 2012, after her second term -- whether or not she runs for governor.

Hutchison declined an interview request from The Associated Press, but her spokesman confirmed the accuracy of the magazine excerpts.

The Republican also says stepping down in two years "has to be considered."

If she runs for governor and wins, once she steps down as senator a temporary appointment would be made by the governor to fill the Senate seat until an election is held.

The Associated Press reports it's conceivable Hutchison would get to make that interim selection -- as incoming governor.

Hutchison won a special election in 1993 for the Senate seat vacated by Lloyd Bentsen. She won her first full term the next year and was re-elected in 2000 and again in 2006.