February 17, 2006
I don't even know how to title this one

The headline pretty much says it all: Candidate worked as prostitute.

[Tom Malin, a Dallas Democrat who is seeking election to the Texas House] acknowledged Thursday that he once worked as a prostitute.

"I've made mistakes in my life, and I've stood before my Creator and I've accepted responsibility for my behavior," Mr. Malin said. "I've also accepted his grace and his redemption and his love and his forgiveness, and that's what's important."

Web pages that have been used to advertise the sexual services of "Todd Sharpe" say he previously worked in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. His rates ranged from $200 to $600, according to graphically detailed reviews from men whom the pages described as satisfied customers.

Mr. Malin said he no longer works as a prostitute.

"I knew that if I continued on with that, I would die," Mr. Malin said. "God spoke to me, and I knew I had to make a different choice in life."


Mr. Malin is running for House District 108, which covers much of central Dallas and the Park Cities.

On Thursday, he received a key endorsement from the Dallas Tejano Democrats, a Hispanic political group.

"We were not aware of this, and he never mentioned it to us during the screening," said Domingo Garcia, chairman of the local Tejano Democrats. "Obviously we will have to reconsider our decision based on the new information."

The Dallas Morning News editorial board also recommended Mr. Malin, but in light of this new information, said it was reconsidering that recommendation.

His opponent in next month's Democratic primary is retired salesman Jack Borden, who said he was disappointed to learn of the revelation.

"I'm wondering who put him up to run in the first place," Mr. Borden said. "I don't approve of anybody selling their body."

Mr. Malin said the decision to run was his own.

The winner will face incumbent Republican Dan Branch in November. Mr. Branch had no comment on Mr. Malin's past, saying he looked forward to standing before voters in the general election.

Former Dallas County Democratic chairwoman Susan Hays, a Malin supporter, said the candidate told her about his past in the buffet line of a local restaurant.

"He kind of amazed me," she said. "He's been a mess, but righted himself. He's got more honesty and energy than his Democratic opponent and Dan Branch."


Mr. Malin said he would continue to campaign for the state House.

"People don't care where you have been," he said. "They just want to know where you are going. All I know is that the ultimate authority is God. That's what's most important."

There are, I suppose, two ways to approach a story like this. One is to give in to the natural snark instinct ("Hey, Jeff Gannon! Finally, there's someone you're qualified to interview!"), and the other is to note that one of the great things about America is that it's a land of redemption and second chances. I believe the expression in the evangelical community is "the greater the sin, the more glorious the salvation". If the primary voters choose to look at where Mr. Malin is going as opposed to where he's been and pick him to be the nominee for HD108, I'll be fine with that.

Keven Ann Willey of the DMN editorial board explains in their blog why the paper will in fact rescind its endorsement of Malin. Whether or not you agree with her conclusion, I at least see nothing objectionable about the board's reasoning. Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 17, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

At last! A new candidate for public office who will not require on-the-job training.

Posted by: Dalicious on February 17, 2006 2:51 PM

You could title it: DMN Does Not Take Its Own Endorsement "Responsibility" Seriously (and neither should you) DMN should re-plant all the trees it cut down for the waste paper they are distributing.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on February 17, 2006 3:45 PM

At least he isn't pimping himself out to special interest... I think that Leslie going to jail in Iowa is just as newsworthy

Posted by: You's a HO on February 17, 2006 4:13 PM

Well don't be surprised if he gets elected. I believe that central part of Big D is kinda like our Montrose area. I just focus on the fact that Texas is a solid Red State. There are going to be pockets of insanity here and there. I hope our majority in Austin just ignores them and bypasses them when handing out the bucks.

Posted by: freeman on February 17, 2006 6:40 PM

man whore vs lobby whore - is there really that much of a difference??

Posted by: texxas redd on February 17, 2006 8:08 PM