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Kinky Friedman Turns in Voter Signatures for Texas Governor

Author and entertainer Kinky Friedman presented 169,574 voter signatures to state election officials on Thursday in the hope of making the November ballot for governor.

The independent gubernatorial hopeful wore his trademark black cowboy hat and chomped a cigar while explaining where many of the signatures came from. "All I can say is, thank God for bars and dance halls," Friedman said.

Independent gubernatorial candidates had to collect 45,540 signatures from registered voters by the deadline on Thursday to make it onto the ballot.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the other major independent in the race, delivered Tuesday what her campaign said were 223,000 voter signatures.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry and Democrat Chris Bell will be on the fall ballot because they won their parties' primaries in March.

The Secretary of State's Office has said it will take five or six weeks to verify whether Friedman and Strayhorn have enough valid signatures. An outside vendor will input the names into a computer database, then state officials will check the names for validity.