It should not be that much of a surprise, but Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) announced today that she will remain in the Senate for the remainder of her current term, backing off from an earlier plan to resign at some point this year. Hutchison, who lost the Republican primary for Texas governor earlier this month, had previously indicated that she would step down after the primary regardless of how it turned out; she said last year that she would resign during the primary campaign itself to devote her full attention to it, but decided to remain in the Senate. Her term runs through 2012.
“For family reasons, I had planned to begin making a transition home to Texas this spring,” Hutchison said in a statement. “But it is clear to me that the stakes in our nation’s capitol have never been higher. President Obama’s victory on health care legislation has emboldened those who want an even bigger and more intrusive federal government.”
Her decision is not that surprising because the day after losing the gubernatorial primary she formally introduced legislation that could extend the life of the shuttle and take other steps to preserve US access to the ISS, suggesting that she planned to remain in Congress at least long enough to try and shepherd her legislation through the Senate. She is also the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which will take up her bill as well as other NASA-related legislation.