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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 March, 2004, 05:55 GMT
Kinky bid for top job in Texas
George W Bush in his days as governor of Texas
Will the Kinkster's pursuit of Dubya's hat stop in Texas?
Eccentric American country singer and writer Kinky Friedman has announced he will stand for George W Bush's old job as Texas governor in 2006.

The man behind the Texas Jewboys band and such best-selling crime novels as Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned is set to run as an independent candidate.

While his policies are as yet unclear, Mr Friedman has pledged to "not kiss babies [but] their mothers".

Asked why he is standing, he replies: "Why the hell not?"

The cigar-smoking country singer says he wants to "fight the wussification of the state of Texas".

"I want to rise and shine and bring back the glory of Texas," he adds, describing himself as a "writer of fiction who tells the truth".

'Not so crazy now'

Mr Friedman, 59, says he was inspired to stand for governor by the success of Arnold Schwarzenegger in California as well as the recent failed bid of Howard Dean for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

"We are taking a page from Howard Dean and a page from Arnold," he said.

There are no skeletons in my closet - they are all bleaching on a beach somewhere
Kinky Friedman
"And now the thing doesn't seem so crazy any more to a lot of people."

Correspondents say it remains to be seen how far the unconventional image of the composer of They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore and author of Elvis, Jesus & Coca Cola will appeal to traditional voting lobbies in Texas such as Christian groups.

But Mr Friedman says he has little fear that his electoral ambitions will ever be affected by scandal, the bane of many an American politician's career.

"There are no skeletons in my closet," he says. "They are all bleaching on a beach somewhere."

State profile: Texas
23 Dec 03  |  Americas

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