Chris Bell to run for two offices at the same time?

Well this is surprising! Apparently Chris Bell has announced that he is going to run for two offices at the same time:

Fresh off his defeat in the state senate runoff against Republican Joan Huffman, Democrat Chris Bell is trying a new tactic: running for two offices at the same time. In a unique plan announced today, Bell says that he plans to run for the Houston City Council in 2009 and Harris County Treasurer in 2010.

Bell, a lawyer and lobbyist, plans to challenge Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck in District C, as well as Orlando Sanchez in the Harris County Treasurer race. While he originally promised not to run for office again if he lost to Huffman, Bell has since changed his mind. Lawyers consulted by the Chronicle say that it is legal for Bell to campaign for both offices at the same time, as the elections are in different years.

"I believe that my long career running for office qualifies me to be a Houston City Councilman, and if the voters again choose my opponent in 2009, then I will just keep on running for Harris County Treasurer," said Bell at a press conference.

Experts say that while the move is highly unusual, it just might work. "It's not something that a candidate would do in normal times, but District C is a district that reflects the changing demographics of the county at-large," Rice University Professor Bob Stein commented.

"As the county becomes more Democratic, Bell has a real chance to actually get elected to something," Stein continued. "Plus, Bell has always been upset that [Harris County Treasurer] Orlando Sanchez entered the 2001 mayoral race. At the time, then-City Councilman Bell thought he could run as a de facto Republican against Democrat Lee Brown and win. When a Republican like Sanchez came along and screwed Bell's plans up, Bell lost."

Critics point out that by Chris Bell's own admission, a dead corpse would have done better against Rick Perry in 2006 than he did. Still, Bell says he will not be deterred. "My occasional successful election is proof that if you run for office enough, sometimes the voters will make a mistake," Bell joked.

It's kinda crazy, but who just might work. It remains to be seen whether 2010 will complete the Democratic wave of 2008 or whether Republicans will take back the judiciary. You'd think that the voters wouldn't reward a guy who can't figure out what office he really wants, but...who knows? It may not matter if the Democrats sweep countywide in 2010.

Posted by Evan @ 12/22/08 06:34 AM


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