WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is defending her conservative record as leaves Washington after nearly two decades.
Hutchison told the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/VKaWwf ) that she had "to go to huge lengths" in the Senate to prove she was a conservative. The Republican's decision to not seek a fourth term came after her failed bid to unseat Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2010.
Perry beat Hutchison in the Republican primary behind tea party support and an anti-Washington message. But as she prepares to leave office, Hutchison says she is returning to Dallas as a "solid regular mainstream conservative."
Tea party darling Ted Cruz is taking Hutchison's seat.
Hutchison was among just six women in Senate when she arrived in 1993. A record 20 women will serve in the chamber next year.