Perry Gets Unexpected GOP Heat

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Governor Rick Perry faces an unprecedented challenge from three well-known opponents.

Now, the Republican incumbent's bid for a second full four-year term is drawing some flak from those who should be among his strongest supporters -- staunch GOP conservatives.

Longtime Harris County GOP activist Norman Adams says he thinks "a bunch are so upset with Perry they may not vote at all in the governor's race."

Republican Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt
says he guesses "it's the summer of conservative discontent."

Adams and those who share his sentiment say it's unlikely their estrangement threatens Perry's expected return to the governor's mansion. Bettencourt says that, barring a "meltdown of biblical
proportions," Perry will head into the November seventh election with at least 35 percent of the vote.

But the grumpiness factor could translate into an erosion of Perry's support and a bump in protest votes for independents Carole Keeton Strayhorn or Kinky Friedman -- or even Libertarian James Werner. Democrat Chris Bell is unlikely to benefit from the GOP split.