Who is Jim Leitner? He ran third behind Rosenthal in the 2000 GOP primary for Harris County DA. And he sounds like a past critic of Rosenthal's take-no-prisoners style. According to the Houston Chronicle:
Though it's just a hint, that attitude would certainly be quite a change of pace from the current leadership at the Harris DA. Miya Shay adds that "more names could be on the ballot. Because Rosenthal took his name off, candidates have an additional 48 hours to file, meaning the new deadly in Friday at 6pm."
In 2001, Leitner said he thought Harris County prosecutors were overzealous in their pursuit of death sentences against capital murder defendants.
"As long as that is the prevailing view, there are going to be a lot of capital murder prosecutions. People in other counties don't see it that way."
He added, "I think we kill a lot of people who don't fit the statute."
We'll soon see if any new names emerge. Kuff fears that the last minute candidate switcheroo makes it "harder for C.O. Bradford to win." But in truth, we know Bradford has flaws as a candidate, while I don't know much about Leitner. I look forward to a vigorous election process to allow voters to decide who is better qualified to run the DA's office, which could sorely use the kind of credibility boost Craig Watkins has brought in Dallas.
UPDATE: Rhymes with Right thinks Rosenthal's alleged affair may not be the only reason he withdrew, pointing to a federal judge's order released minutes after his announcement about deleted emails from the DA's county computer. Kuff has more and speculates that Leitner may be a placeholder for another candidate, possibly from Rosenthal's staff. Also, see the New York Times coverage of Rosenthal's announcement.
NUTHER UPDATE: And now, bizarrely, Rosenthal appears to be back in the race. What must be going through this man's head? Strange craziness.