June 10, 2005
HD47: Keel drops out
From the Quorum Report:
TERRY KEEL ANNOUNCES RUN FOR AN APPELLATE COURT SEAT
Leaves open seat in HD47
This afternoon, Rep. Terry Keel (R-Austin) told reporters, "I am here today to announce my intentions for the 2006 election cycle.
HD47, which was already a potentially winnable seat for the Democrats in 2006, is now more so due to its sudden status as an open seat to be. Greg
, in crunching the precinct data, tantalizes us by saying that Keel would have been very vulnerable, but he doesn't have the exact numbers up yet. I'll try to do that myself, but as my cable modem is currently DOA it won't happen until at least Sunday.
Nothing on the wires about this yet. Andrew D has some details, including a longer Quorum Report quote. Keel had a strange session - he's far from a monolithic partisan foot soldier. The judicial pay raise flap (nicely summarized here) is what he'll be remembered for, and may bite him in his new race as well. Oh, and he supposedly made this session's Ten Worst list in Texas Monthly, too. Keep an eye on this one, it ought to be fun.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 10, 2005 to Election 2006
Keel's district was 53-47 Bush ... pretty much the same as the 149th district. Just downloaded some other data from the TLC site to get the numbers crunched online a bit quicker this weekend. New toys ... yay!!!
Keel's district is more liberal than a lot of Dems, but he himself, IMO, wasn't vulnerable there. His record with stuff like medical marijuana and addressing the Tulia aftermath, plus his tremendous family political power base in Austin, made him quite safe from all but the most monied challengers (Kirk Watson's name, e.g., had been floated as a credible challenger, but he raised $1 million to become Austin's mayor.)
Now the question is: What will Keel run for? His record on criminal justice topics and the death penalty, plus his fealty to Sharon Keller, who may not run again, gives rise to the thought he might run for the CCA. But my current hunch is that he might run against Wallace Jefferson in the Republican primary for state supreme court chief justice, who he claims threatened to find him a primary opponent in retaliation for killing the judicial payraise bill. That turn next year's court races from a sleepy sideshow to a full-blown barnburner, plus give black Texans their first ever excuse to vote in a Republican primary.
Fascinating stuff, if it goes that way.