Carole Keeton Strayhorn
American politician
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Carole Keeton Strayhorn is the former Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Elected to the comptroller's post in 1998 as a Republican, Strayhorn ran as an independent candidate for Texas governor against Republican incumbent James Richard "Rick" Perry in 2006. She lost the November general election to Perry and placed third in a six-way race, with 18 percent. Strayhorn is notable for several "firsts" in Austin and Texas politics.
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Jason Stanford: Ready or Not, It's Time for Wendy Davis to Run
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Offering unsolicited advice about whether Sen. Wendy Davis should run for statewide office is like playing cops and robbers with finger guns. No one believes there's a bullet when you yell "Bang!", and no one ever gets hurt. But there are rooms in Texas where she seeks advice. There are telephone conversations, email exchanges, perhaps even texts in which she asks, "What do you think I should do?" She asks certain people, perhaps as many as can be counted on two hands. For those few, the question is live ammo, unexploded ordnance. You don't want to cut the wrong wire and blow her to bits. It reduces the risk to her advisors to hew to cautionary tales about the importance of her senate seat in preventing a Republican supermajority, Gov.-presumptive Greg Abbott's embarrassment of riches, and the difficulties in getting Anglo voters to vote for a Democrat. No one has ever looked like an idiot urging caution around dynamite. Compared to that sober advice, someone telling ...
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Huffington Post article
How Rick Perry Created His State's $27 Billion Budget Crisis - AlterNet
Google News - over 5 years
The state comptroller, Carole Strayhorn, had her staff run the numbers on Perry's tax-reform proposal. “In 2007,” she wrote in a letter to Perry, “your plan is $3.4 billion short; in 2009, it is $5.4 billion short; in 2010 it is $4.9 billion short,
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Google News article
Be in the know: Today's Political Bullet Points - CNN (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In 2006, Perry defeated Carole Strayhorn for the GOP's gubernatorial nomination. In 2010, Perry defeated Kay Bailey Hutchison for the GOP nomination. In each case, Perry won against various political consultants who, should Perry get the nomination,
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Rick Casey: From school districts to court docket - Houston Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
But as then-Comptroller Carole Strayhorn warned, the tax didn't come close to covering the difference. Until this year the difference was made up with one-time moneys, partly federal stimulus funds. But the Legislature, refusing to raise taxes or tap
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Carole Keeton Strayhorn
  • 2014
    Age 74
    She resumed her maiden name by 2014, after her third marriage ended in divorce.
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  • 2009
    Age 69
    In May 2009, Keeton lost her campaign for Mayor of Austin.
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  • 2006
    Age 66
    On June 22, 2006, Texas Secretary of State Roger B. Williams declared that only 108,512 signatures on her petition were valid, about 35,000 less than Friedman's count.
    More Details Hide Details Keeton tried to have herself listed on the gubernatorial ballot as "Carole Keeton 'Grandma' Strayhorn", claiming that "Grandma" was a common nickname for her, and that independent opponent Kinky Friedman was able to use "Kinky" on the ballot (although he was listed as "Richard 'Kinky' Friedman"). Secretary of State Williams ruled that Keeton's "nickname" was a slogan she used during her campaign for state comptroller (One Tough Grandma). Friedman, on the other hand, had used "Kinky" as a professional name on his albums and novels, and had been known by that name for at least 40 years. During the Texas Governor's debate, Keeton suffered image points when she could not name the president-elect of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, during a rapid-answer segment of the debate. In a format similar to a TV game show, the candidates had 15 seconds to answer questions. She stated that the election had been hotly contested.
    On May 9, 2006, Keeton turned in 223,000 voter signatures to the office of Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams.
    More Details Hide Details Only 45,540 were required to place her on the November general election ballot. "I told you, Texas," Keeton said while standing in front of 101 boxes stuffed with signatures. "We have blown the barn doors off this petition drive." Media reports later confirmed that the boxes were substantially less than half full (for comparison, her opponent, Kinky Friedman put 169,000 signatures in 11 similar boxes).
  • 2003
    Age 63
    She married Ed Strayhorn in 2003, continuing her career as Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
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  • 2002
    Age 62
    Soon after the 2002 election, Keeton began publicly feuding with Governor Perry over what she saw as his inability to provide leadership on issues such as school finance and government spending.
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    As Carole Keeton Rylander, she drew more than one million votes more in 2002 than she had four years earlier and outpolled fellow Republican Rick Perry by some 246,000 votes even while Perry was easily dispatching Democrat Tony Sanchez of Laredo in the governor's race.
    More Details Hide Details The tax status of Ethical Societies as religious organizations has been upheld in court cases in Washington, D.C. (1957), and in Austin, Texas (2003). In 2004, Keeton revoked the tax exempt status of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Denison, Texas by claiming that the church is not a religion. This move was done because of the policies of the church's parent body, the Unitarian Universalist Association, which has no single set of religious teachings. The comptroller's office reversed its decision after the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the incident. This was the only occasion when any state attempted to deny the church's tax exemption.
    Reelected in 2002, she led the statewide Republican ticket in terms of raw votes.
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  • 1998
    Age 58
    In 1998, Keeton entered the open race to succeed outgoing Democratic Comptroller John Sharp of Victoria, who was seeking the lieutenant governorship.
    More Details Hide Details Facing off against Democratic political scion Paul Hobby, the son of a former lieutenant governor and grandson of a former governor and lieutenant governor and a cabinet secretary, Keeton won by some 20,000 votes out of roughly 3.6 million votes cast.
    Elected to the comptroller's post in 1998 as a Republican, Keeton ran as an independent candidate for Texas governor against Republican incumbent James Richard "Rick" Perry in 2006.
    More Details Hide Details She lost the November general election to Perry and placed third in a six-way race, with 18 percent. Keeton is notable for several "firsts" in Austin and Texas politics. She is the first and so far only woman elected as mayor of Austin and the first Austin mayor elected to three consecutive terms. She was the first woman elected to the Texas Railroad Commission and the first woman elected as comptroller. She also was the first woman to serve as president of the Austin school board and as president of the Austin Community College board.
  • 1995
    Age 55
    She served as commission chairman from November 1995 to January 1997, and from June 1998 to January 1999.
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  • 1994
    Age 54
    As Carole Keeton Rylander, she won election to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1994 by beating Democratic incumbent Mary Scott Nabers, an Ann W. Richards appointee, by almost 300,000 votes.
    More Details Hide Details The panel primarily regulates the production of oil and natural gas (but no longer has authority over railroads).
  • 1984
    Age 44
    In her campaigns for school board, college board, and mayor, Keeton was not identified by partisan affiliation since those posts are elected on a nonpartisan basis. Keeton was a Democrat until the mid-1980s; she served as Democratic nominee Walter Mondale's campaign chair in Travis County during the 1984 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details Keeton switched parties and became a Republican in 1986, when she was the GOP nominee for the U.S. House seat held by J. J. Pickle.
  • 1983
    Age 43
    In 1983, Governor Mark White appointed Rylander to the State Board of Insurance, where she served until resigning in 1986 to challenge unsuccessfully the veteran Democratic congressman, J. J. Pickle of Austin, a longtime friend and political ally of Lyndon B. Johnson.
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  • 1977
    Age 37
    She was elected mayor of Austin in 1977 and held that post until 1983.
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  • 1976
    Age 36
    She served as president of both boards from 1976 to 1977.
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  • 1972
    Age 32
    As Carole McClellan, she served on the board of trustees of the Austin Independent School District (which doubled as the Board of Trustees of Austin Community College) from 1972 to 1977.
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  • 1939
    Born on September 13, 1939.
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