According to the latest list of candidates I've seen from the HCDP, Joel Redmond has made his official filing for HD144. Given how that open-seat race is at or near the top of the list of takeover targets by both the Democrats and the pro-Craddick Republicans, I'm more than a little surprised to have heard so little about any of the candidates who have announced so far. I've seen more written about Amber Moon, who may or may not actually be running, than I have about Redmond or any of the three Republican candidates who have actually filed. I haven't gotten so much as a press release on Redmond, which is frankly rather amazing considering the amount of campaign-related mail I get for other candidates; I just got one from a candidate for Austin City Council, for crying out loud. I hope this just means he doesn't have a formal operation up and running yet and not that he's going to be this quiet about his business going forward. We'll see.
Elsewhere in Houston, State Rep. Ellen Cohen made her filing for re-election official. Still no word of an opponent for her. Unless there's a self-funder lying in wait somewhere (very quietly), it looks like she'll be getting a pass this year. Other incumbents who have filed as of yesterday: Reps. Scott Hochberg, Kevin Bailey (who has a primary challenge from Armando Walle), Senfronia Thompson, Ana Hernandez, Borris Miles (who may have a rematch against Al Edwards), Garnet Coleman, Jessica Farrar, and State Sen. Mario Gallegos.
Meanwhile, in other State Rep news, two Republicans so far have filed to run for HD52, left open by Mike Krusee's retirement. Democrat Diana Maldonado is already in this race, and already generating positive buzz.
Two Harris County Constables so far will face primary challenges. Constable Ken Jones in Precinct 3 will run against William "Bill" Norwood, while Constable May Walker, the first female and the first African American female constable in Harris County, will be opposed by Curtis Thompson. I know nothing about these gentlemen other than the fact of their candidacies.
Finally, a little shuffling around in the District Court races. Ashish Mahendru, who's a friend and neighbor of mine, had been running for the 125th District Court (Civil). Last week, a fellow named Kyle Carter, who had originally announced his intent to run for the 215th, thus making that a three-person race with Steve Kirkland and Fred Cook, decided to hop over to the 125th instead. This was not a popular decision, as Mahendru had been recruited by the HCDP Coordinated Campaign Steering Committee to run for that seat and Carter had not been recruited at all; Mahendru is also by all accounts I've heard the better candidate. Rather than risk missing out on the chance to be on the ballot in November, Mahendru has now moved to the 334th, where original candidate Susan Strawn has dropped out due to professional constraints. Unfortunately for him, this means Mahendru needs to re-gather petition signatures - you need 250 sigs even if you pay the filing fee. We helped him out at our Lights in the Heights party on Saturday, where he picked up a dozen or so. If you see Ashish somewhere in the next few days, please offer to sign his petition. As for Carter, the word I hear is that he will not have a free shot at the 125th. Stay tuned on that one.
And speaking of Lights in the Heights, a gentleman (whose name now escapes me) who wants to run against Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in CD18 passed through gathering petition signatures. I wished him luck in the name of democracy, but for obvious reasons declined to sign. I don't think he did as well at my house as Ashish did, but I was outside setting up luminaria at the time, so I couldn't say for sure.
Still waiting on the official word for a couple of candidates I'm anticipating. I figure anyone who hasn't made it official by next Friday will likely wait till the deadline is almost upon us. And I'm still hoping for a surprise in the Court of Criminal Appeals, for which I wholeheartedly endorse what Scott Cobb says.
There are three seats up and Democrats should find strong candidates for all of them. Both Scott Henson at Grits and I have separately asked some people to run, but so far no one has said yes. Now, there are only three weeks left before the filing deadline. We need to find someone before it is too late.
A Democrat can win election to the CCA in 2008 for two main reasons 1) the national political environment is favorable to the Democrats and a winning Democratic presidential candidate could have an impact on lower ballot races and 2) the "laughingstock" reputation of the CCA is likely to cause many editorial boards and other organizations to endorse a well-qualified challenger to the Republican incumbents on the ballot.
I am writing this post to ask the blogging community to help find good candidates for the CCA. Help us find a practicing lawyer, a law professor, or a judge whom we can interest in running for the CCA.
Please use the comments to suggest people the Texas Democratic Party should contact about running for the court. Or email names to me at scottcobb99 (at) gmail.com and I will pass them along to the state party.