Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry's re-election race next year could be colorful. The Republican candidates who are sizing up a race include a former dairy farmer who now presides over the state House of Representatives and an incumbent Congressman who was once a radio reporter.

Those pale in comparison to the likes of a former musician and mystery writer who is now running for governor of Texas. Kinky Friedman, the namesake in the country band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, is trying to capture the vote of the disconnected who are frustrated by politics as usual in Texas.

After his band folded in the 1980s, the now 60-year-old cowboy took to writing mystery novels starring himself as a Texas detective. His third career ? running for governor of Texas ? started as something of a joke but is getting some traction in Texas. The campaign was spotlighted in a recent "New Yorker" profile.

His platform is a little shaky. "If I win, the first thing I'll do is demand a recount," he said. He also claims in his administration, "No teacher will be left behind." Education, he said, will be funded by video poker machines in bars. He'll call it "Slots for Tots."

The campaign is hoping for a weak Democratic candidate and a divisive Republican primary. They're praying for a scandal to further turn voters away from the usual suspects.

For his part, Mr. Friedman will have to convince Texas voters that even though he makes some outlandish statements, he's at least a little bit serious. Who knows, it worked in 1998 in Minnesota for Jesse Ventura.

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