January 03, 2008
Kelly Siegler jumps into DA race

Now it gets more interesting.

Harris County prosecutor Kelly Siegler, known for effective theatrical tactics in the courtroom, is set to run for district attorney as a Republican after the withdrawal of her boss, District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.

Siegler said she plans to file paperwork today for a place on the party's March 4 primary ballot.

She has been an assistant district attorney for 21 years.

Siegler said she is running because the district attorney's office has a sterling reputation "and those of us who have made it our career want to make sure it retains that reputation."

The agency is known nationwide as the pace-setter for seeking the death penalty and has been rocked by evidence errors made by the Houston police crime lab.

I'm thinking in the wake of Chuck R's behavior and his impending explanation to the judge how he accidentally deleted a bunch of emails, you might want to tread carefully on the reputation of the office.

Siegler, who was not among the assistant district attorneys whom party leaders had interviewed as possible candidates in recent days, said she was unsure whether some of her colleagues will run now that she is a contender.

Prosecutors Denise Bradley, Steven St. Martin and Marc Brown expressed interest Wednesday.

Defense lawyer and former prosecutor Jim Leitner already is on the ballot, and the Republican winner will face Democrat C.O. Bradford, the former Houston police chief, in the November general election. Leitner, however, indicated he might withdraw if another Republican candidate looked to him like a top-notch prospect.

So maybe we'll get a real primary over there, and maybe we won't. Have Jared Woodfill and his peeps actually coalesced around a suitable replacement or not? We'll have some indication by tomorrow evening. I'll say this: if the nominee is someone from Rosenthal's office, then as far as I'm concerned this election will still be a referendum on Chuck R. Not just his recent shenanigans, but everything that office has done - and not done - in the past eight years. That's a battle I'll be very comfortable fighting.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 03, 2008 to Election 2008