... And So Does Yelenosky
Yet another Keel fails to break the GOP's losing streak at the courthouse
With the exception of District Judge Julie Kocurek, a Republican appointed by Gov. George Bush (and re-elected Tuesday without opposition), GOP judicial appointments at the Travis Co. Courthouse don't typically last past their first election fight. But Keel had a fair amount of bipartisan support from lawyers and a prominent last name working in his favor; he is the younger brother of Austin state Rep. Terry Keel, who won an easy, unopposed re-election bid. County Democratic leaders got behind Yelenosky, who ran a strong campaign with enough money to buy TV time to paint his opponent as a friend to big corporations. "He had some Democratic support among lawyers," said Yelenosky, "but I don't think that bipartisan support carried throughout the legal community."
Perry appointed Keel in late 2002 to fill the post vacated by Democrat Scott McCown who, like Yelenosky, leans toward championing the little guy. Yelenosky, who takes office in January, is the legal director of Advocacy Inc., a nonprofit advocating for the disabled. In the only other contested races for the Travis Co. bench, incumbent Dem Margaret Cooper easily bested perennial GOP candidate Demetri Anastasiadis, and Democrat Nancy Hohengarten prevailed over Angelita Mendoza-Waterhouse for County Court-at-Law No. 5.