Former Judge Huffman Announces Bid For Janek’s Former Senate Seat

June 16, 2008

Former Harris County felony court judge Joan Huffman has officially joined the growing list of candidates to replace former state senator Kyle Janek in the Texas Senate District 17 seat.

Huffman formally announced her candidacy late last week.

Huffman served as a state criminal district judge for eight years. Prior to that, she was an assistant district attorney in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for 10 years.

Huffman was the judge in the retrial of the now-infamous “sleeping lawyer” murder trial in which Calvin Burdine was sentenced to die for the 1983 killing of W.T. “Dub” Wise.

Burdine’s initial conviction was later overturned by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after it was found that Burdine’s lawyer, Joe Cannon, slept through critical portions of the trial.

Huffman is the latest candidate to announce for the District 17 seat. She joins West University businessman and former George H.W. Bush presidential appointee Austen Furse and Houston attorney Grant Harpold as announced candidates in the Nov. 4 election to replace Janek.

Other names frequently mentioned as possible candidates include Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, District 26 State Rep. Charlie Howard, District 137 State Rep. Scott Hochberg, former Harris County GOP chair Gary Polland and former gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell.

While not absolutely ruling out a run, Wallace has said he is currently focused on completing his term as mayor and will make no decision about any future political race until that term is over.

Bell has reportedly been encouraged to run, but has not yet made a decision.

District 17 includes a good portion of eastern Fort Bend County, Sugar Land and Missouri City, as well as parts of Harris, Brazoria, Wharton, Galveston, Chambers and Jefferson counties.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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