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May 31, 2005

Challenge to Keel and Kinky Thoughts

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

Kuff reports that the first person to state their intentino to run against Republican Rep. Todd Baxter here in Austin (who narrowly beat Kelly White last fall) is Austin Attorney Andy Brown.

Andy Brown, an attorney at DLA Piper, announced his candidacy today in the Democratic Primary for State Representative in District 48. Mr. Brown brings effective public service, legislative experience and community volunteer leadership to the race.

"I intend to provide the kind of leadership on health care, public education and ethics that Travis County residents expect. We owe a debt of gratitude to Kelly White and Ann Kitchen for their enormous efforts to provide balanced and effective representation in the Texas House. District 48 deserves a new voice."

Also in the ring for the Democratic primary for that seak is Hugh Brady. From Qurom Report...

Add Hugh Brady's name to the likely contenders in the Democratic primary seeking to challenge Austin Republican state Rep. Todd Baxter. Brady is a former staffer for state Rep. Glenn Maxey. He is an attorney with the Fitzwater Firm and one of his clients is the House Democratic Caucus. Brady is also the editor of Texas House Practice, a guide book to Texas House procedures.

I'm curious as to whether former Rep. Maxey had a hand in getting him to run, being that Maxey is well known as the Lege's only openly gay representative before stepping down after his district changed. Baxter has a big target on his back thanks to LGRL. I look forward to this seat being taken next round, and now if someone would step up to challenge Rep. Keel as well, then there would be a chance to sweep all of Travis County's 6 house seats for Democrats (though Keel's seat is the most Republican to my knowledge).

Oh, and Kuff reports on some thoughts on the effects of Kinky Friedman for Governor. I need some more time before I have any.

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at May 31, 2005 05:30 PM | TrackBack


I'm a Democrat living in Terry Keel's district. I would love to see a Democratic challenger go up against Keel, but realistically I don't give that challenger much of a chance. At least Rep. Keel has been somewhat moderate on gay issues. He was one of the few Republican reps to vote against Talton's nasty gay foster parent ban, and in 2001, Keel voted in committee to repeal 21.06, the state's (now unconstitutional) "homosexual conduct" law.

Posted by: Raul at May 31, 2005 06:39 PM

Oh, I don't have any delusions about the difficulting in knocking him off.

Those votes may also have been because there was some 'family' in the Keel family. But still, there are pleny of non-gay related votes that would be reason enough to run against him.

Posted by: Karl-T at May 31, 2005 07:19 PM

The GLBT community raised over $30K for Kelly White last year. It helped that she had some personal / family links to the GLBT community, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the GLBT community raise a similar amount or more for a 2006 challenge to Baxter.

As for Keel, John Sharp and Kirk Watson carried his district in 2002. I don't know the 2004 numbers, but considering the margin Kerry and other Dems won countywide, I'm sure that margin was relatively close. That district is moderate, as many south Austin Dem lean precincts were added in redistricting to make make 48 more Republican (and Ann Kitchen vulnerable). Also much of that district includes the Constable precinct where Democrat Richard McCain upset Terry Keel's brother, Thorton Keel in a Dem pickup last year (Terry Keel's other brother was defeated for judge as well).

Keel is somewhat entrenched in his seat, and is slightly more moderate than Stick and Baxter. He also has better name i.d. as former sheriff. He will be tough to beat, but in order to win back the Texas House (eventually), his district is definitely among the seats that we will need to pick up.

Posted by: Byron L at May 31, 2005 09:25 PM

Keel also for very petty reasons killed the judicial payraise bill this session, which had tremendous bipartisan support. He killed it because the Senate wouldn't pass a law LOWERING the qualification standards for lawyers to be appointed to capital cases. I guess Texas has a profound problem that lawyers appointed to death penalty cases are TOO qualified.

This is a guy who when he was Sheriff cost the County serious $$$$ for all the civil rights violations he comitted. The Sheriff's office was getting sued left and right for all the shennanigans he was pulling. Before that as a prosecutor, he would argue to the jury that they infer guilt from the Defendant's refusal to testify, which is a BIG NO NO that every kid who has graudated from 8th grade civics knows.

Terry Keel is a class A clown and needs to be defeated.

Posted by: WhoMe? at May 31, 2005 11:59 PM

Hugh Brady is far more qualified than Andy Brown and has a better chance of winning the general. Brown should step aside for the good of District 48.

Posted by: austinite at June 1, 2005 10:31 AM

I would disagree with you, austinite. Andy Brown has already, if you look at his press release from the Quorum Report, put together a strong group of supporters. He is the best bet to beat Baxter.

Posted by: David at June 1, 2005 11:20 AM

Well, let's do a side-by-side comparison, David:

Andy Brown was a low-level staffer for Pete Laney and his press release is riddled with grammatical errors.

Hugh Brady has literally written the book on Texas House practices and has been working in the legislature for over a decade.

Who's most qualified to represent District 48?

Posted by: austinite at June 1, 2005 02:42 PM

The point you made that I disagreed with was when you said "Brown should step aside for the good of District 48."

The best thing for District 48 will be Todd Baxter losing. Brown is the best one to do that.

Andy Brown already has the support of many Democratic activists in Austin. Brown will win the primary, if there is one that is.

Posted by: David at June 1, 2005 02:50 PM
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