The Chronicle article, written by Brian Rogers, focuses on Republican GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill voicing his support for former 177th District Court judge and widow of Mike, Devon Anderson. Although I always cringe whenever Jared Woodfill or other Republican Party "leadership" dabble into the world of Criminal Justice, I can't disagree with Jared on his vote.
Devon was an All-Star prosecutor before taking the bench. One of my earliest memories as a baby prosecutor was watching her, along with Lyn McClellan and Johnny Holmes, try the notorious Railcar Killer, Rafael Resendez Ramirez. Although Mr. Holmes and Lyn were outstanding in the jobs they did, this case was Devon's and she did a phenomenal job as lead prosecutor.
The Channel 13 article was a little more interesting as Deborah Wrigley reports that in addition to Devon Anderson, other possible candidates who want to be considered for the position are Judge Marc Carter, Congressman Ted Poe, First Assistant Belinda Hill, former First Assistant Jim Leitner and . . . wait for it . . . seriously . . . you aren't going to believe this . . . Rachel Palmer.
Now, let's look at that list of candidates real quick.
It is my understanding that Judge Poe has already stated that he has no interest in the job. I don't know why he would, actually. He's a United States Congressman and if he wanted to be the District Attorney of Harris County, he could have easily taken it in 2000 when Chuck Rosenthal first ran. He could have also taken it easily in 2004 when Chuck Rosenthal ran again, or in 2008 when Pat Lykos ran.
Judge Marc Carter is a fantastic judge and would be an excellent candidate for District Attorney. I do a lot of work in Judge Carter's court, and I would be very surprised if he wanted the job, though. He enjoys being a judge, and those of us who practice in his court are glad that he IS judge. We all hope he stays on the bench for a very long time.
First Assistant Belinda Hill is also a phenomenal candidate. She's highly respected by both the Defense Bar and the Prosecution. She's already received the unsolicited endorsement of the Houston Police Officers' Union. However, it has never been clear whether or not Belinda actually wants the job. Although she had been elected Judge of the 230th District Court for several terms, there is a big difference on the campaign trail when one is running for judge and when one is running for District Attorney. It is an unfortunate fact of life that politics plays a tremendous part in keeping your job as District Attorney. A person may love the job description of being District Attorney but (rightfully and sanely) have no desire to hit the campaign trail for it.
Now the fun candidates . . .
Jim Leitner? Really? You're putting your name in the running for this? You were first assistant for a very mean Pat Lykos and yet you still got the label as her "evil henchman." Why on earth would Leitner be a consideration for Perry? Thus far, the only thing that Leitner has proved politically adept at is running as a spoiler candidate and then giving his support to a candidate who will give him a job. Perry wants somebody who can run in 2014 and win. If he wants somebody who can go in and take a dive for personal gain, maybe Jim has a shot.
And finally . . . Rachel Palmer. Sigh.
I heard late last week that Rachel's beloved husband Don Hooper was trying to get his wife appointed to District Attorney. At some point, I have to wonder if he even consults with his wife before trying some of his harebrained schemes.
It's been a couple of years now since Rachel invoked her 5th Amendment rights in front of a Grand Jury. Time heals old stains to the reputation provided they are given the opportunity to fade away. Thanks to the Donner and his relentless blogging, however, he keeps her unfortunate incident in the forefront of his limited readership's mind. Hooper and Palmer have a blog that is legally owned by Rachel and can be found under her name. That blog celebrated Mike Anderson's cancer (and mine), and calls into question whether or not Hooper is fit to serve as First Lady of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Not to mention the fact that Rachel has still yet to rise above the level of Felony Two in the Office. The idea of her being appointed to District Attorney is nothing short of preposterous.
In the end, the natural candidates for the position do seem to be Devon Anderson or Belinda Hill. Both have been outstanding public servants and prosecutors in the past and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.