Chris Bell Loses Another Election in Texas

Posted December 17, 2008 at 1:52pm

Former Rep. Chris Bell (D-Texas), who has had an up-and-down political career in the past decade and a half, suffered another setback Tuesday night, losing a runoff for an open state Senate seat.

Bell lost to Joan Huffman (R), a former judge and prosecutor, 56 percent to 44 percent, in a Houston-area district. Just 10 percent of eligible voters turned out at the polls.

Bell is a former TV journalist who lost races for the state Legislature and Houston’s city council before winning a council seat in 1997. He then won a House seat in 2002, only to be ousted in the Democratic primary two years later by now-Rep. Al Green (D). The district had been drastically altered in 2003 by a Republican redistricting plan engineered by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Shortly thereafter, Bell, as a lame-duck Member, broke an ethics truce between House Republicans and Democrats, filing a complaint against DeLay.

In 2006, Bell was the Democratic nominee for governor, finishing second with 30 percent of the vote in a four-way contest.