Friedman says he's running for governor again

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Humorist and author Kinky Friedman says he's running for governor, this time as a Democrat.

Friedman, in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday - the eve of his formal announcement - described himself as a "true populist." He said he's offering Democrats a new, winning model, noting that the last Democrat to hold the Texas governorship was Ann Richards in the early 1990s.

Friedman said he wants to give teachers a $3,000 across-the-board pay raise and get rid of the TAKS standardized testing for public school students. He said he's planning a fundraiser with Willie Nelson later this month and that he hopes to raise grassroots money online like he did when he ran as an independent in 2006. That year Republican Rick Perry won the race. Friedman was fourth.

Others in the Democratic primary field are former ambassador Tom Schieffer, former agriculture commissioner candidate Hank Gilbert and therapist Mark Thompson