Breaking news from KDBC in El Paso:
Today, October 16, 2009 at 12:00 p.m., at Senator Eliot Shapleigh's District Office, Senator Shapleigh will host a press conference announcing that he will not seek re-election to the Texas Senate in 2010.
“In our family, public service is the highest calling. While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas Senate in 2010. During each day of the last decade, we have endeavored to do our very best for the people of our great community and state. In public life, especially in Texas during this decade, doing what's right, not what's expedient is what matters. I am grateful to the people who elected me for the opportunity to serve.”
The press conference is at noon (mountain time, 1pm CST). KVIA in El Paso is saying they'll have the story on their website (www.kvia.com) at that time — my guess is they'll run the press conference.
No word, yet, on Senator Shapleigh's future plans. The seat is a solid Democrat seat, though — and I'm sure in the coming days we'll hear announcements on Democrats who would like to take Sen. Shapleigh's place in the upper chamber.
More as it develops…
Update (by Michael): Brandi Grissom gives us a few pieces of news via twitter. First, these two tweets tell us that we will hear about Senator Shapleigh's plans for higher office in 2.5-3 weeks, and that the higher office may be a statewide one. As for his replacement in the Senate – the early candidates are Rep. Joe Picket, Rep. Norma Chavez, and El Paso County Attorney Jose Rodriguez.