Via Eye on Williamson (who is not surprised to hear it), Texas Weekly and now Postcards from the Trail are reporting that State Rep. Mike Krusee (R, Round Rock), who barely cleared 50% running against the underfunded Karen Felthauser last year, will not run for re-election.
Krusee, 48, is set to announce his retirement, effective at the end of his term in January of 2009, in a written statement released later today.
Krusee, who had served in the House since 1993, had been rumored to be in line for a gubernatorial appointment, possibly to the Texas Transportation Commission, because of his legislative work on toll roads. But a source close to the situation says state law forbids the appointment of a legislator to any job requiring Senate confirmation during his term in office.
That would mean Krusee would not be eligible for most state appointments until the end of his term.
Of course, you can't talk about this sort of thing without also mentioning Speaker politics. As Elise Hu notes, Krusee gave a long anti-Craddick speech at the end of the spring session, which was interpreted by some as a "So long and thanks for all the fish" moment. Postcards paints a more convoluted picture:
"Questioning leadership is the highest privilege this body has," Krusee said that night as Craddick looked on. "And it belongs to the body, not to the presiding officer."
Yet this summer Craddick attended a Krusee fundraiser, raising speculation that the two former allies had settled their differences. On several occasions this summer Krusee insisted he would be running for re-election.
Meanwhile, moving over to East Texas, Rep. Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton in HD19 has drawn an opponent that could give him a tough race, former Vidor Mayor Larry Hunter. The name Vidor obviously carries some baggage, but I'm told that Hunter spent his time as Mayor trying to get the city past that. We'll see how he does. This has the potential to be a competitive race, as Hamilton has never done better than 57% in his three previous elections, and both Bill Moody and Dale Henry topped 45% in the district last year. Democratic gains have mostly come in urban and older suburban areas lately, so this will be a departure from that formula. I'll keep an eye on this one.
UPDATE: More on Krusee from Karen Brooks.
UPDATE: And more on HD19 from PDiddie.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 27, 2007 to Election 2008