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Campaign Chatter

A handful of Texas House members who say they're leaving — either getting out or trying to move into other posts — top this week's roundup of campaign news.

State Rep. Will Hartnett (r), R-Dallas, listens to a question from the back mike as State Rep. Rene' Oliveira (l), D-Brownsville, waits on May 6, 2011.

State Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, is talking his way out of office. He hasn't made an announcement, but told the Quorum Report he's thinking about leaving. Hartnett is in his 11th term in office.

He'd be joining a growing herd. Rep. Charlie Howard, R-Sugar Land, decided not to run again. He's got medical work on his jaw ahead and says he'll hang up the state work to worry about that. He will, however, serve out his term. There are already two Republicans and a Democrat in that race. Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem Jacquie Chaumette and Sonal Bhuchar, a Fort Bend ISD Board Trustee, were in before Howard got out (and he says he won't endorse either of them. And Vy Nguyen, a Democratic attorney, says she thinks a Democrat can win in that district if they put together the right coalition. It's her first run for office.

Two other incumbents — freshmen Lanham Lyne of Wichita Falls and Jose Aliseda of Beeville, say they won't be back. Lyne says he's done with the Legislature but not necessarily with public service; Aliseda is going home to run for district attorney. James Frank, a Wichita Falls Republican and businessman, says he'll run for Lyne's seat.

Randy Weber wants to move from state representative to U.S. Representative. The Pearland Republican said this afternoon that he'll run in the place now held by U.S. Ron Paul, R-Surfside.

Paul, who's running for the GOP nomination for president, has said he won't seek reelection next year.

Weber announced an exploratory effort in July and says he found the support he was looking for. He's been in the Texas House since 2009 and served on the Pearland City Council for six years before that.

That looks to be a busy primary. Felicia Harris, an attorney and a current Pearland City Council member, is running in the GOP primary, and so is Michael Truncale of Jefferson County, a regent at the Texas State University System and a member of the State Republican Executive Committee.

• State Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, is saying on paper what he's been saying on the phone and in person for weeks: He plans to run for state Senate against incumbent Republican Chris Harris of Arlington. Anderson won his House seat in November, knocking off incumbent Democrat Kirk England in a squeaker.

Mike Schofield, a former aide to Gov. Rick Perry and a former GOP House candidate, will try again. He'll run for the spot now held by Beverly Woolley, R-Houston. Schofield lost a primary runoff to Rep. Jim Murphy in 2006. This time, he'll face former Houston City Council member Pam Holm.

• Former Judge Jim Pruitt, now an attorney in Rockwall, will run in the Republican primary for the newly drawn HD-33 in the Texas House. He was a Dallas County criminal court judge. That 's a weird district, starting in Rockwall County and sweeping north into Collin County, where it takes in the eastern and northern borders and much of the western edges without taking any of the middle of that county.

• No surprises here: Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, says he'll seek reelection next year. He's in his third term. Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Mission, says he'll try to come back. State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, will seek reelection. He's the new head of the Senate's Democratic Caucus. Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, will try for a second term. His name popped up in rumors for an open congressional seat, but he'll stick. Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, will seek reelection. Rep. Michael "Tuffy" Hamilton, R-Lumberton, will seek another two years, running from a district where he's paired with Rep. James White, R-Lufkin. And Rep. Chuck Hopson, R-Jacksonville, will seek another term.

Elizabeth Ames Jones says there is no truth to rumors that she's getting out of the U.S. Senate race. It's bunk. "Not only am I running, I plan to win," she says. "You heard it from the candidate's mouth — I am all in."

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2012 elections Eddie Lucio III James White Jason A. Isaac Jim Murphy Randy Weber Rodney Anderson Ron Reynolds Sergio Muñoz Jr.