AUSTIN — After flirting with a run at governor, former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle decided Friday to shoot for the next highest office by filing to seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
Earle, who was raised on a ranch outside of Fort Worth, said he concluded that the governor is too encumbered by "ceremonial duties" while he would have a much greater role in shaping policy as lieutenant governor, which presides over the state Senate.
Outgoing Houston Mayor Bill White's decision to run for governor as a Democrat also likely helped shape Earle's plans. "He's got a lot more money than I've got," Earle told PoliTex.
With no advance notice, Earle quietly filed his paperwork at state Democratic headquarters late Friday. He said he plans a formal announcement after the holidays, when he will spell out his campaign themes.
Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has filed for re-election. Austin deli owner Marc Katz has also announced for the post as a Democrat.
Earle took a wait-until-later approach when asked his views on Dewhurst's performance in the job. But he hinted at his likely plan of attack by saying, "The idea of government by a few doesn't sit well with me."
Earle drew national attention in 2005 after filing campaign finance fraud charges against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land.