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Endorsement watch: Ellis and Whitmire

The Chron finally turns to legislative races by endorsing two Senate Democratic incumbents in a pair of lightly contested races.

[Sen. Rodney] Ellis, the longtime Democratic incumbent in Texas Senate District 13, has made his mark in many legislative areas, including education, the state budget process and the criminal justice arena. It is thanks to Ellis’ efforts, for example, that Harris County will soon have a public defender’s office. Access to higher education by low-income and minority Texans also has been widened thanks to the senator’s efforts. It is no exaggeration to observe that Texas has become a more welcoming and tolerant place because of Ellis’ efforts. It has.

[Sen. John] Whitmire, the Democratic incumbent in Texas Senate District 15, has been in the Senate for 27 years and his length of service has earned him the title “Dean of the Senate.” The Houston native, who first came to the Legislature as a Texas House member while still an undergraduate at the University of Houston in the early 1970s, has focused his energies on criminal justice, overseeing a rewrite of the state penal code in the 1990s. His deep knowledge of the criminal justice system is a resource that will be particularly valuable in dealing with the state’s daunting budget deficit.

It was a pleasure interviewing them as well, which you can listen to here for Ellis and here for Whitmire.

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