Strayhorn Runs as Independent

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Comptroller and gubernatorial hopeful Carole Keeton Strayhorn turned her back on the Republican party Monday, announcing she'll seek the state's top job as an independent candidate.

The move allows Strayhorn to escape a potentially ugly battle against Governor Rick Perry before the March 7 Republican primary election.

Strayhorn, who called herself "One Tough Grandma" in previous campaign ads, has been a harsh critic of Perry's leadership over the last couple of years.

Monday's announcement all but guarantees Perry will be the Republican candidate on the November ballot.