December 05, 2005
Talmadge Heflin rises from the dead

The Quorum Report had this when they first put out their big list of candidates, and today they confirm it: Talmadge Heflin wants a rematch in HD149.

"I still have work to do. I still can represent the district well and get some other things accomplished, so I'm putting my hat back in the ring," he said.

Allen Blakemore is likely to consult for the campaign, Heflin said. Filing for a place on the ballot is open through Jan. 2, and Heflin said he hasn't decided yet on a date.

In Harris County, HD149 is about the only office currently held by a Democrat that has a chance of flipping next year. Heflin, as we know, lost in 2004 for a number of reasons - he was out of touch with a district that was increasingly less Republican than before (remember, he won with only 55% of the vote against a relatively unknown challenger in 2002), he had a record from 2003 that was easy to exploit on the campaign trail, and he made the news in the bad way during the campaign with the bizarre child custody story. I presume that won't be happening this time around, and I presume he's learned a little something about why Hubert Vo beat him in 2004. He's got nothing but time now, so perhaps he'll do some real campaigning in the coming months. And finally, it's not like he got swamped when he lost.

All that said, I don't fear a Heflin challenge, and I doubt Hubert Vo does, either. Heflin still looks and sounds like a 1980s-era politician trying to be relevant in the 21st century. He's still got his record from the 78th Lege and before, and I for one doubt that he'll change his tune on any of it. He could certainly surprise me, and I hesitate to underestimate Allen Blakemore, but if I had to pick someone to run against Vo, it would've been ol' Talmadge. The only question in my mind is whether or not he'll have a clear shot at the Republican nomination. It won't shock me at all if someone else jumps in to keep him out of it.

UPDATE: BOR notes some other rematch possibilities in the offing. Greg wonders if this means Heflin is no longer an applicant for the Texas Lottery Commission gig.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 05, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Vo was chosen by voters last year because they had lost patience waiting for Heflin to "accomplish" something positive for them. Meanwhile, Heflin has applied to run Lotto Texas and been hired by a rightwing think tank to figure out new ways to cut kids' health insurance. Plus, Vo has Kelly Ferro to run circles around Allen Blakemore.

Posted by: tee on December 5, 2005 3:00 PM

Correction - Vo has Karen Loper to run circles around Breakmore. Kelly is the Cruise Missle to Karen's ground war.

Posted by: Red Dog on December 5, 2005 11:43 PM