Lege Notes

Odds and ends – mostly odds – from under the pink granite dome

• Former Eanes school board trustee Donna Howard is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for House District 48, the seat currently held by GOP Rep. Todd Baxter. She would face Andy Brown in the March primary. Brown, an Austin attorney, is well into his fundraising efforts and has landed the support of prominent Democratic and community activists. Howard's friends and supporters, however, point to her experience in public education and public health as key selling points in the West Austin swing district. She served on the EISD board of trustees from 1996-1999, and has twice run for the State Board of Education. She was also a critical care nurse at Brackenridge and Seton hospitals, the first hospital-based patient education coordinator in Austin, helped launch the Seton Good Health School, was president of the Texas Nurses Association, and has taught health education at UT. Howard and Brown may have company in the Democratic primary. Former AISD Board President Kathy Rider is said to be strongly considering joining the race. – A.S.

• Brad McClellan, son of Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, has demanded an apology from a Texas Republican Party official who likened Strayhorn's courtship of Democratic primary voters to a "one-night stand." As the Statesman quoted party executive director Jeff Fisher in an Aug. 14 article, "It's one thing when a candidate tries to invite like-minded conservative Democrats and independents to make a lasting commitment to the Republican Party. It's quite another to encourage liberals to vote in the primary like a one-night stand." Strayhorn, a GOP candidate for governor, will face Gov. Rick Perry in the 2006 primary. In an Aug. 15 letter to each member of the party's executive committee, McClellan, who serves as Strayhorn's campaign manager, defended his mother's honor. "My mom, like former President Ronald Reagan, believes in the 'Big Tent' theory," McClellan wrote. "If we are going to be the majority Party for years to come, we must encourage voters to join our Party." As of Tuesday, Fisher's "one-night stand" quote was still featured prominently on Perry's campaign Web site. – A.S.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Texas Legislature, Donna Howard, Eanes, EISD, Andy Brown, Brackenridge, Seton, Seton Good Health School, Texas Nurses' Association, AISD, Kathy Rider, Brad McClellan, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Rick Perry, Jeff Fisher, Ronald Reagan, Texas Republican Party

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