Kinky Friedman's been running for Texas governor ever since, oh, March, far as I can figure; that's when he told folks at the Texas Film Hall of Fame dinner in Austin he was running as a Democrat this go-round, rather than the indie he ran as in '06. He's already got the "Kinky For Governor 2010" tees, and he's about to hit the fund-raiser circuit: On September 16 at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, matter of fact, anyone with $1,000 can spend a "Bloody Mary Morning" with the Texas Jewboy and Willie Nelson, where you can "eat with Willie, drink with Willie, listen to Willie, get autographs from Willie, get silly with Willie, argue with Willie, dance with Willie -- anything else depends on you and Willie!" Like what?
Tomorrow down in Austin, though, Richard Friedman makes it official: He's in the race. But there will be no formal announcement, he tells Unfair Park, merely a series of interviews during which he'll start making his case that he's a serious candidate and not just a spoiler. "I'm not gonna stand behind a podium and say, 'I hereby...," he says. "I'm running as a Democrat, and I am playing by the rules."
Not sure quite yet: Friedman's tour of Texas will bring him to Dallas on Wednesday, and we're scheduled for a longer sitdown. For now, all he'll say is this: "I'm the only man of the people in the race. The other candidates are super-rich guys and gals who fly around on private planes, and I'm a Southwest Airlines man myself. I went into HEB last week in Kerrville, and a guy said, 'Kinky, you're forcing me to be a Democrat!' And I said, 'No, I'm allowing you to be a Texan.'"
Mark it down: You will read or hear that quote 149 times between now and Friday.