The Houston Chronicle reports that the saga involving now-former Family District Judge Denise Pratt may continue for some time, despite her recent resignation. As both Kiah Collier (who generally writes all pertinent Chronicle articles on this topic) and myself have previously noted, Pratt resigned from office and announced she would immediately suspend her re-election efforts last Friday. In the March primary, Pratt garnered a bare plurality against four challengers, and advanced into a runoff with Alicia Franklin.
Among the many things Pratt has been accused of are meddling with court documents by backdating orders as well as unilaterally dismissing nearly a thousand pending cases with no just cause, in some cases allegedly in retaliation against her political enemies. Greg Enos, a Galveston county attorney and publisher of The Mongoose (Editorial note: Remember, Greg: TEXPATE ≠ GOP blog), has been behind at least three complaints against Pratt, which twice prompted the Harris County District Attorney’s office to investigate the former Judge. Possibly facing indictment last week, Pratt left office in shame. Jubilant, Republicans proclaimed that Franklin would be appointed by Perry to serve out the remainder of the term, win the primary and get re-elected come November (Pratt occupied a DISTRICT Court, meaning the Governor and not the County fills vacancies). The only problem with this is that Pratt has demonstrated she is not going softly into the night.
Once again, Collier at the Chronicle notes that Pratt thinks she still wants to be kicked around a little longer. In text messages obtained by the Chronicle, Pratt told supporters that she hoped her biggest supporter, Steven Hotze (Conservative Republicans of Texas; pay-to-play slates), would not endorse Franklin for at least a few weeks. Evidently, this was construed to mean that she was still in the primary to win it. Indeed, she has received no shortage of publicity in recent weeks. Although none of it is good, if enough voters are so low-information as to simply vote for a familiar name, Pratt would still have a chance in the May 27th primary.
In fact, in one of the aforementioned text messages, Pratt even said “I am stil [sic] heavily favored by the party.” Why should would do this, I don’t know, and it truly does not make sense considering what happened today.
Collier wrote yet another article in the Chronicle today reporting that Pratt has announced, through her attorney, she unequivocally has suspended her campaign. The article goes on to interview both Stan Stanart (Harris County Clerk) and Mark Jones (Rice University Political Science professor) for context, though no more information was received from Pratt herself.
We’ll see what happens, but in the meantime, I will say that stranger things have happened than Pratt winning the runoff.