December 05, 2005
Henley kicks off campaign for CD07

Jim Henley, longtime debate coach at Lanier Middle School and one of two candidates currently running for the Democratic nomination in CD07 (the other being David Murff), had a campaign kickoff event yesterday. From a press release I got today from his campaign:

Regarding his decision to run for public office, Jim says "A good teacher teaches by example! After two decades of teaching history and debate at one of Houston's finest schools, I have decided to live the lesson that I have been teaching. Discussion and debate are not ends unto themselves, but the prelude to active citizen involvement. My former students are enrolled in colleges and universities across America. They are witness to our country's failed leadership, misguided policies, and an electoral system that has diminished the voice of the voter. I announce this campaign for The United States Congress with the support of my former students and their families and my neighbors."

James B. Henley has dedicated his life to teaching since 1987. He has taught history and debate at Sidney Lanier Middle School where he has won the praise and devotion of a generation of Houston students. The Lanier debate teams have won three consecutive National Middle School Debate Championships. In fact, Mr. Henley’s teams are undefeated in debate competition since 2002. For the past eighteen years, Mr. Henley has directed an annual tour of Washington D.C. leading several thousand parent and students from his school community to meet nation leaders from both parties.

Jim was born in 1947, the son of James B. Henley Sr., a World War II veteran and Laura H. Henley, a native of Belgium. They met and married after the war and raised seven children in Camden, Arkansas. Jim graduated from University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. He served as pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Clarksville from 1967 to 1976 and graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

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As I said before, I'm happy to see people want to get in a race on the Democratic ticket. I look forward to hearing more from both candidates in CD07.

By the way, Henley was introduced at yesterday's event by his sister, who is someone you may have heard of.

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

I was present, Kuff, and it was an overflow crowd at El Meson -- first they spilled out of the side room, and then they packed the entire restaurant to the walls.

Two of Henley's students, members of Lanier's national debate championship team, spoke first and nearly stole the show, Then Susan came on, and nearly made everybody cry (just like she's done before).

Henley's going to have a groundswell of populist support.

Posted by: PDiddie on December 5, 2005 4:00 PM

Will his notorious pro-Redskins stance hurt him? And are there any potential Texas political candidates named Matt Welch or Julian Sanchez?

Posted by: Steve on December 5, 2005 4:43 PM

I was there too, although I had to head out for a Sue Lovell event around five before anyone started speaking.

I got a chance to speak to Jim Henley though, and I'm excited that he's running. He's a passionate and eloquent speaker and from everything we talked about he seems like a solid progressive. We talked about Iraq, and he mentioned that he'd like to see all US forces leave Iraq in a phased withdrawal over the next year, with the last troops leaving in December 2006.

The last time I checked David Murff's website, his stance was that our troops were there to stay in Iraq for some time. It's way too early to decide who to support in a primary over three months away, but already that gives Henley a solid edge in my book. It should be an interesting race.

Posted by: RMG on December 5, 2005 5:16 PM

Steve: I have a strong feeling that this is not the same Jim Henley. Unless, of course, Mr. Henley has some sort of alien technology that none of us know about. The author of "Unqualified Offerings" lives in Silver Spring, MD. The man running for Congress lives in Houston, TX.

Anyways, I, as one of the many former students attending, was at El Meson on Sunday. The two students spoke very well, as PDiddie already mentioned. Then his sister spoke well; and he followed giving an excellent speech giving me fond memories of being on the Lanier Debate Team.

I am just sixteen years old, but I am pumped about the idea of getting involved in helping make the country a better place at such a young age. I believe Mr. Henley hopes that this is only a start of a wave of new movement from young Americans, and I think it is.

He described this campaign as a lesson plan to his former students. As he mentioned, though, we hope for it to be much more than that.

Posted by: Michael Hurta on December 5, 2005 8:50 PM

Unless, of course, Mr. Henley has some sort of alien technology that none of us know about. The author of "Unqualified Offerings" lives in Silver Spring, MD.

I used to live a few miles away; I just thought the coincidence of names was amusing. Please carry on with actual substantive discussion!

Posted by: Steve on December 6, 2005 2:14 PM