Kay Bailey Bails from Governor's Race

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AUSTIN -- Republican US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison won't be running for governor in 2006.

Her campaign tonight announced Hutchison will be seeking re-election to the Senate. Hutchison earlier today appeared in Plano and said she was near a decision on whether to challenge GOP Governor Rick Perry.

Perry called Hutchison a "champion" for Texas in Washington and said her decision to seek re-election to the Senate is "great news for Texas."

Hutchison campaign manager Terry Sullivan says Hutchison on June 27 will discuss her decision and why she believe it's in best interest of Texas. Sullivan, when reached by The Associated Press, declined further comment on the 61-year-old senator's decision and motivation.

Republican Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn has scheduled a public rally tomorrow in Austin -- where she's expected to announce a challenge to Perry.