Pauken gets left-handed compliment

Tom Pauken is no stranger to Amarillo, having dabbled in commercial real estate development downtown.

My bet is that we’re going to see a bit more of Pauken now that he’s dropped out of the race for Texas governor.

And that brings me to this interesting analysis written by Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey, who pays Pauken a fascinating compliment by saying he was “experienced enough to drop out” of the contest.

What prompted Pauken’s departure from the Republican primary campaign? According to Ramsey, it was Pauken’s realization that he couldn’t compete with the kind of money that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had banked and was ready to spend in his race for the GOP nomination.

Ramsey writes: “Tom Pauken lost the finance primary and, unlike some less experienced or self-aware candidates, realized it and got out of the 2014 race for the Republican nomination for governor.”

Pauken is nothing if not “self-aware.” He’s a realist with a clear vision of lots of things, including his own political prospects.

Allow me this point of personal privilege. I’ve known Pauken personally for 25 years and I consider him a friend. He would have made a strong candidate for governor. He is a former Texas Republican Party chairman who once worked in President Reagan’s State Department. Pauken also is a proud Vietnam War veteran, where he served as an Army intelligence officer. We’ve managed over many years to share some war stories and some tread across a tiny patch of common ground relating to that war.

But I like Ramsey’s brief analysis of Pauken’s decision to drop out of what was looking more and more like a futile campaign, given the amount of money he would have needed to defeat Greg Abbott.

Expect to see more of Pauken as he returns to Amarillo to conduct some business.

I hope to hear from him.


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