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The Brief: May 9, 2012

Thought Ron Paul would've been the likeliest Texan to make headlines in the presidential race on Tuesday? Then you probably hadn't heard of prison inmate Keith Judd.

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The Big Conversation:

Thought Ron Paul would've been the likeliest Texan to make headlines in the presidential race Tuesday? Then you probably hadn't heard of prison inmate Keith Judd.

To be fair, virtually no one had. But Judd, an inmate serving time in Beaumont, pulled off one of the most bizarre feats of the election season so far by scoring 40 percent of the vote against President Barack Obama in the West Virginia Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Yes, 40 percent — a greater proportion of the vote than any other candidate has received in any state against Obama this year, as Slate notes.

Judd, imprisoned for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999, scored a spot on the state's primary ballot by paying a $2,500 fee and submitting a notarized form, The Associated Press reports.

Candidates who draw at least 15 percent of the vote would normally be eligible to receive a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, according to the AP. But Derek Scarbro, the executive director of the West Virginia Democratic Party, said no one has filed to be a delegate for Judd and that the inmate has also likely failed to file necessary paperwork.

It's not the first time, though, that Judd — who boasts a colorful profile on — has pulled such a move: His name appeared alongside Obama's and Hillary Clinton's on the Democratic primary ballot in Idaho in 2008, much to the chagrin of state officials. 

As for those West Virginians who pulled the lever for an incarcerated felon? “I voted against Obama,” one told the AP.


  • Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's U.S. Senate campaign has released a new web video touting the support of Daniel Moran, a retired Marine corps captain who sustained major injuries while serving in Iraq. "I've seen fighters, and I've seen warriors, and I've seen them give their last breath for this country — and David Dewhurst is a fighter," Moran says in the video.

  • The Sons of Confederate Veterans, the heritage organization known most recently in Texas for proposing license plates branded with the Confederate flag, is seeking to install another historical marker on the Texas Capitol grounds paying tribute to the Confederacy. But as the Tribune's Brandi Grissom reports, critics, including 12 state lawmakers, have accused the group of again trying to glorify Confederate soldiers and revise the group's racist history.
  • Jay Kimbrough, who helped overhaul the Texas Youth Commission in 2007, has been summoned back to the state's juvenile justice agency, which is facing reports of increases in youth-on-youth violence and attacks on staff five years after revelations abuse at juvenile lockups. Kimbrough, who also helped revive the troubled Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, will serve as the special assistant for safety and security at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, which was created last year by merging the youth commission and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission.

"It's my understanding that he's still deciding what his position on immigration is. So I can't talk about what his proposal's going to be." — Bettina Inclán, the Republican National Committee's Hispanic outreach director, speaking to a group of journalists on Tuesday about Mitt Romney


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