It might have been hot outside, but that wasn't enough to stop Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White from pouring himself a cup of coffee and working the crowd at Fiddle Creek Steakhouse Wednesday.

White was greeted by a throng of political enthusiasts hoping the former mayor of Houston will become the next governor of Texas in November.

Stephenville resident and former school superintendent Bob Pierce attended the event and scolded those in the education profession who didn't.

"Every teacher and retired teacher should be here," Pierce said. "If they're not, they should sit back and enjoy their low pay."

It was, in fact, education that topped White's short speech to the packed house.

White said if he becomes the next governor he will focus on lowering the drop out rate in high school, lower college tuition and expand educational programs.

"When a student drops out, it affects all of us," White said.

White also touted his accomplishments while serving as the mayor of Houston, telling the crowd that during his time in office, Houston enjoyed a lower crime rate, cleaner air, lower property taxes and more parks and libraries.

Some political strategists have said this will be Gov. Rick Perry's toughest challenge yet. The most recent poll released July 15 by Rasmussen showed Perry with a 50 percent to 41 percent lead over White.

But White is vowing to shake as many hands and meet as many people as possible during his campaign, stopping in several small cities while making his way across the state.