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Revealing Briefs 

AUSTIN — Corpus Christi classroom teacher Ray McMurrey officially entered the U.S. Senate race for John Cornyn’s seat on Tuesday with a press conference in Austin. McMurrey will face State Representative Rick Noriega (D-Houston), in the Democratic Primary next March.

AUSTIN — Judge Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the state’s highest criminal court), has asked a federal court in Austin to dismiss a lawsuit filed against her for allegedly violating the civil rights of Michael Richard, who was executed earlier this year. Keller made news this fall for failing to keep the CCA clerk’s office open past 5 p.m. to accept a writ from Richard’s lawyers, who asked her for
additional time to make their filing due to computer malfunctions. In her motion to the court, Keller claims she was under no obligation to keep the clerk’s office open past 5 p.m.

SURFSIDE — Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a Surfside Libertarian-turned-Republican, raised more than $6 million for his campaign on Sunday in what is likely the single-largest example of internet political fundraising ever seen. Nonetheless, the Texas Congressman continues to barely register in polls in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

HOUSTON — Former Harris County Democratic Party Chair David Mincberg has filed to challenge Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, a Republican, for the post Emmett was appointed to last year. Mincberg — so far the only Democrat to jump in the race in a county which many view as the next urban Texas county to shift from Republican to Democratic control — said in his announcement that the people have lost faith in the county’s leadership.

AUSTIN — Longtime Travis County District
Attorney Ronnie Earle, famous for his prosecutions of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, former Speaker Gib Lewis, and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, has announced he will retire at the conclusion of his current term. Five candidates have stepped up to fill Earle’s shoes in what will likely be the most watched primary for a DA’s seat anywhere in Texas this election cycle. Earle, 65, is rumored to be a possible candidate for governor in 2010, and has been mentioned as a marquee candidate for a spot on either of the state’s highest courts this election cycle.

AUSTIN — State District Judge Susan Criss, widely known in legal circles for presiding over the murder trial of millionaire real-estate heir Robert Durst and civil cases against British Petroleum, formally filed for Place 8 on the Texas Supreme Court on Monday. Criss, a Democrat who will face appeals-court justice Linda Yañez in the Democratic Primary, is vying to take on Justice Phil Johnson, a Republican, in the November general election.

Vince Leibowitz stays on top of Texas politics on his blog,

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