Harris Co. DA's race heats up before runoff

March 17, 2008 4:29:36 PM PDT
It's one of the most talked about races this election season. And now, the fight for Harris County district attorney is heating up. The two Republican women in the April runoff have just a few weeks to convince voters they are the right candidates for the job. Both are turning up the heat against each other. But the biggest battle may be just getting their supporters to show up.

"Some people are all talk, even when it comes to justice," said Prosecutor Kelly Siegler said in a new campaign ad.

Mincing no words when it comes to her opponent, Siegler spent the day putting together her latest campaign commercial, while the other Republican candidate, Judge Pat Lykos sharpened her attacks, linking Siegler with disgraced former District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.

"It was the Rosenthal-Siegler administration," said Lykos. "Mr. Rosenthal has been Ms. Siegler's mentor since the early 90's in misdemeanor court."

Siegler fired right back.

"She needs to remember this is 2008 and she's running against me for district attorney," said Siegler. "She's not running against Chuck Rosenthal. He's gone. We don't have to worry about that anymore, and someone needs to remind her of that."

As the April 8 runoff date inches closer, both women are sharpening their attacks. Political consultant Allen Blakemore, who represented Rosenthal but none of the current candidates, says this is a classic argument of experience versus change.

"You've got two good examples, one heavy on experience, the other, a different set of experience and an outsider's prospective," he said.

Lykos even released a DVD of a speech Siegler gave to law students, saying she made unethical remarks.

"It is the Rosenthal-Siegler administration that has betrayed the public trust," said Lykos. "And I'm going to turn it around.

It's an argument Siegler laughs off.

"It's kind of funny when you think about it," she said. "And anyone with sense realizes I'm not Chuck Rosenthal."

Again the runoff is Tuesday, April 8. The candidate who wins will face former police chief C.O. Bradford as the Democratic opponent in the November election. .

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