Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Filing news: Brownout

The on-again, off-again saga of Andy Brown in the HD48 special election has apparently ended: He’s out.

Democrat Andy Brown has not lived in state House District 48 long enough to run in a Jan. 17 special election, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The winner of the election will serve the year left on former GOP Rep. Todd Baxter’s term.

Brown said he does not plan to appeal Judge Sam Sparks’ decision to uphold Secretary of State Roger Williams’ ruling that Brown is ineligible for the January contest.

The Texas Constitution says a candidate must live in a legislative district for at least a year before being elected to represent it. Brown moved into District 48, which is in western Travis County, in May, and for months had planned to run in the March Democratic primary for the right to compete in November for a two-year term beginning in 2007.

He is eligible for that race because he will have lived in the district for a year by November.

I guess that’s one less crazy scenario for HD48, though of course you could just swap “Andy Brown” and “Donna Howard” in that and have the same thing. BOR has Brown’s statement.

Both State House Democratic challengers from Williamson County have made their filings. Eye on Williamson has the story on Jim Stauber and Karen Felthauser.

The hottest race in Harris County next year will be in HD134 between State Rep. Martha Wond and Demcratic challenger Ellen Cohen. Cohen will officially kick off her campaign on Thursday, January 19, 2006 on the Rice University campus. Check it out so you can meet one of the most accomplished and dynamic candidates of this cycle.

According to The Jeffersonian, State Rep. David Leibowitz is making an “important announcement” today. I too presume it’s merely a reelection announcement, but adding a little drama to such things can’t hurt.

Congrats to John Courage for winning the Progressive Patriot endorsement.

PerryVsWorld asks an interesting question:

Who is Gammage’s political consultant? Why did Gammage file without announcing?

For a candidate with almost zero name ID, the first thing you’d want to do is get your name in the papers. If Gammage had announced first, he could’ve had a round of coverage across the state, and then repeated that coverage by filing. Color me puzzled.

Gammage did get some mileage out of the round of will-he-run speculation, but yes, he could’ve gotten more if he;d announced, then filed. On the other hand, as Eye on Williamson noted, Gammage did at least push David Dewhurst’s reelection filing to also-ran news status. So I guess that’s something.

Finally, the Bill White for Governor rumors won’t go away. I’m going to quote from a Capitol Inside story on the subject. See if you can spot why I remain skeptical of the whole thing.

The surge of support for a gubernatorial race next year is fueled by the theory that White would have a better chance to beat Republican Governor Rick Perry in the fall of 2006 than he’d have in a duel against U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison if she were to win her party’s nomination for governor over potential contenders such as Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in 2010. Hutchison appeared to seriously consider a campaign for governor against Perry in next year’s GOP primary before electing to seek another six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn, who will be up for re-election in 2008, reportedly has a watchful eye on White as a potential challenger for his post that year.

Perry’s potential vulnerability isn’t the only reason that some of White’s supporters think he should make his move for statewide office next year instead of waiting until the governor’s office is up for grabs again in 2010 or running for the U.S. Senate at the end of his new mayoral term in 2008. There are concerns that White’s popularity is more likely to go down than up if he’s forced to deal for four more years with the endless maze of costly problems that a city the size of Houston can expect to face in that amount of time.


White’s supporters also see a race for governor in 2006 as a logical step toward a place on the national Democratic ticket in 2008. Some of the mayor’s supporters think he’d make an ideal fit as a vp nominee from Texas with broad appeal on a ticket led by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, who’s widely perceived to be the frontrunner among Democrats in the White House race at this stage of the game.

While the most successful paths to the White House for modern-day presidents have gone through governors’ offices, some of White’s supporters believe he’s already in a strong enough position to be considered for a national ticket on the strength of his record as mayor and his success in the fields of business and law.

Texas Republicans say that Democrats are mistaken if they think they have a winning shot at Perry in next year’s general election. At the same time White’s supporters envision him on a national ticket, Perry’s name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for vice-president on the GOP ticket in 2008.


In his public statements since the re-election victory, White and his aides have suggested that he plans to stay on as mayor for at least two more years. White’s campaign finance director, Herb Butrum, confirmed that the mayor has received extensive encouragement for a gubernatorial bid but feels that he still has work to do as mayor and is concentrating on that task. White spokesman Robert Michel echoed that sentiment, saying the mayor made a commitment to the voters of Houston and plans to keep it.

“It’s not going to happen,” Butrum said of a White campaign for governor in 2006 before adding that the mayor is “never saying never” to future possibilities.

Putting aside all the Vice Presidential silliness (and may I say, Rick Perry on the 2008 ticket is even more farfetched than a Hillary/Bill White pairing), there are no names in this story. Hell, there isn’t even an indication that the unnamed people speaking have any authority to do so. I’m a Bill White supporter. Is it news if I say he ought to run for Governor? When I see someone who has an actual connection to Bill White go on the record with this kind of talk, then maybe I’ll believe it. Until then, it’s all wishcasting as far as I’m concerned.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts


  1. Charles Hixon says:

    “Why did Gammage file without announcing? For a candidate with almost zero name ID, the first thing you’d want to do is get your name in the papers.”

    And if the papers decide to not print, the candidate should not file? Is that why you have not yet filed?

  2. claude says:

    Not sure what you mean by “you could just swap ‘Andy Brown’ and ‘Donna Howard’ and have the same thing….” Andy Brown is legally ineligible, having just moved to the district. Donna Howard has lived in the district for 30 years and served on the school district board. But you;re right about Ellen Cohen. She’s a great candidate and the seat should be a Democratic pick-up.