Texas gov's opponent uses toll road plan as ammo

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Strong opposition prompted Gov. Rick Perry to ditch his plan to build a $175 billion toll-road network across the state.

But the issue is sticking to his shoes like gum. Perry cast his Trans-Texas Corridor project as a way to relieve traffic congestion by building highways in a state growing by 1,000 people per day. But he had to scale down the project considerably after farmers and ranchers said it threatened their land. Also, open government advocates jeered its secret contract with a Spanish company.

Now, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson is using the project as ammunition for her campaign to depose her fellow Republican as governor. The gubernatorial candidate says the project and Perry's transportation policies show arrogance. Recent polls show Perry with a lead over Hutchison, but they also show many voters still undecided.