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Governor’s Race Tops Texas Ballot

Texas Governor Rick Perry comments during a campaign rally on February 7, 2010 in Cypress, Texas. (credit: Dave Einsel/Getty Images)

Texas Governor Rick Perry comments during a campaign rally on February 7, 2010 in Cypress, Texas. (credit: Dave Einsel/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (AP) – Rick Perry never has lost an election. Neither has Bill White.

That distinction ends Tuesday for one of them.

The polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday across Texas as voters decide whether Perry, a Republican and already the longest-serving governor in the state’s history, should be brought back for an unprecedented third four-year term. Democrat White is a former mayor of Houston.

Perry tapped into anti-government fervor and seized opportunities to link White with President Barack Obama. White, meanwhile, tried to keep his distance from Obama and cast himself as an independent Democrat. He accused Perry of being in office for too long and using his office to help campaign contributors.

Both candidates spent millions of dollars airing television ads and trekking around Texas. They hammered each over over alleged wrongdoing in office, immigration and what’s going on in Washington. The long, expensive campaigns are now heading to a finish.

Their race tops a ballot where statewide offices are up for grabs along with all of the state’s congressional seats, half of the Texas Senate, the entire Texas House, one-third of the Texas Supreme Court and portions of the state civil and criminal appeals courts and board of education.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)