Walle and Gutierrez

Couple of Democratic campaigns got kicked off this week, both of which might have a positive impact on the House Speakership next year. First, on Wednesday, Armando Walle officially began his campaign to oust Craddick D Kevin Bailey in HD140. Muse attended and filed a report, with pictures. And read this Observer blog post on the race if you haven’t already.

And on Saturday, Roland Gutierrez made his bid for HD119, now occupied by retiring Craddick D Robert Puente, official.

Gutierrez, 37, is the only announced candidate in next March’s Democratic Party primary for the District 119 slot that Puente — the dean of the Bexar County legislative delegation — has held for 16 years. The district covers a vast stretch of south and east Bexar County and is considered overwhelmingly Democratic.

Because of San Antonio’s term limits, Gutierrez would have to leave the council at the end of his second two-year term in 2009. But he will depart earlier — in mid-December — because of a state law that will require him to resign from his South Side council seat when he files for the House race.

Gutierrez said Puente’s decision not to run again “crystallized things for me, but I had been heavily leaning towards running for about two months before” Puente announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election.

I cannot imagine that Gutierrez will get a free run at this seat. I figure Team Craddick will try to recruit someone who’ll play ball with them. Gutierrez ought to be a favorite to win – certainly, he should have an easier time with an open seat. Both he and Walle represent some new blood that the Lege could use. I’ll be rooting for both of them.

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