Laney Won't Run in '06
Senior state Democratic rep promises to remain active in Austin's public arena after leaving office next year
Laney's retirement opens the door for a Republican to succeed the West Texas cotton farmer. But Laney said he hopes that his conservative district will elect someone who is committed to work with members on both sides of the aisle. "My decision not to run again comes at a time when more than ever we as a state and as a nation need to encourage bipartisan leaders to get involved in public service," he said in a statement. "West Texas has produced some of the most influential leaders in our state's history, and I want us to continue that legacy." During one of two failed special sessions on school finance this year, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, tried to drum up support for Laney to run for governor next year by selling T-shirts with the message: "Save Texas. Laney for Gov 06."