Saturday, October 12, 2002

If I may engage in a bit of harmless Glennuendo, where is the outrage about this?

SHERMAN -- State Rep. Ron Clark, whose nomination to a federal judgeship was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 2, has officially abandoned his re-election campaign but said he still hopes to win the race in November.

Clark said he would stop campaigning for the District 62 seat, which includes Grayson and Fannin counties, and asked Democratic nominee Donnie Jarvis to stop campaigning as well.

Clark still hopes to win on Nov. 5 to set up a special election for the post.

Jarvis congratulated Clark on his appointment to the federal bench in Beaumont. An aide to Jarvis said Jarvis would not stop campaigning, the Herald-Democrat in Sherman reported in its Friday editions.

Clark had continued to campaign after the Senate confirmed his nomination as a federal judge, saying he wouldn't really become a judge until the president signed his confirmation papers.

Clark, a Sherman attorney, said Thursday he had learned President Bush was signing his confirmation papers. Bush had nominated him for the federal bench last year.

Clark confirmed that he had written the president, asking that the completion of his confirmation process be held up.

Clark had been quoted recently as saying he wanted to stay in the Legislature through the end of next year's 20-week session.

Clark said it is important for a Republican to represent District 62. Republicans hope to elect one of their own as House speaker, unseating incumbent Pete Laney, D-Hale Center. House members will elect the speaker when they convene next year.

It's too late for Clark's name to be removed from the ballot, or for another Republican to be on the ballot in his place, but if Clark wins anyway, it would trigger a special election, allowing Republicans a chance to hang on to the seat.

The Federal Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits federal judges or judicial nominees from participating in partisan politics or running for any political office.