Texas Court of Criminal Appeals:
Democrat Susan Strawn vs. GOP incumbent Tom Price
Democrat: J.R. Molina
Republicans: Dallas District Judge Bobby Francis vs. incumbent Paul Womack
Harris County District Attorney
Before incumbent Chuck Rosenthal bowed out of the race, this looked like a strong candidate for a D win. Now the election will likely turn as much on the national political mood instead of anti-incumbent anger, unless perhaps Republican Kelly Siegler wins her party's nomination.
Democrat: Former Houston police chief C.O. Bradford
Republicans: former homicide detective Pat Lykos, assistant district attorney Kelly Siegler, defense lawyer and former prosecutor Jim Leitner and Doug Perry, who listed himself as a Houston police captain, lawyer and accountant
Harris County Sheriff
It remains to be seen how much incumbent Sheriff Tommy Thomas may be weakened by revelations about his relationship with disgraced DA Chuck Rosenthal, whose personal emails were revealed in a lawsuit alleging he was protecting the Sheriff from revelations about past misconduct.
Democrats: Guy Robert Clark, Deputy Charles Massey El, and former city councilmember Adrian Garcia
Republican: Incumbent Tommy Thomas vs. police officer Paul Day, who ran in 2004, and Michael Plagens
Harris County Judges
For the first time in years, Harris County Democrats have filed competitive candidates in every judicial race up in 2008. (See here [xls] for the full list.)
Dallas County Sheriff:
Incumbent Lupe Valdez entered office in 2004 on a platform of change then didn't fix the department's problems, particularly at the local jail. While there are reasons for that, in a campaign they sound like excuses, making her vulnerable.
Democrats: Incumbent Lupe Valdez vs. Sam Allen, Dallas lawyer Peter Schulte and Roy H. Williams Jr
Republicans: defrocked former Sheriff Jim Bowles, former Irving Police Chief Lowell Cannaday, Mesquite police Lt. Charlie Richmond and Cockrell Hill Police Chief Catherine Smit
Judge John Creuzot may have trouble retaining his seat after switching parties and drawing a Democratic primary challenger, but this long-time drug court advocate has been pivotal pushing for more treatment and saner probation alternatives, both in Austin and from the bench, and it'd be a shame to lose him.
Democrats: John Creuzot vs. Hiram Macbeth III
Travis County District Attorney
Democrat Ronnie Earle is retiring after more than 30 years on the job, and four of his staff members are vying in the Democratic primary to replace him:
Democrats: First Assistant District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and Assistant District Attorneys Gary Cobb, Mindy Montford and Rick Reed. Earle has endorsed Lehmberg.
Republicans: Yeah, right!
El Paso Sheriff:
With long-time Sheriff Leo Samaniego's passing, a lot of folks who've been waiting in the wings, particularly among Democrats, now think it's their turn. One thing's for sure - it'll be somebody's turn!
Democrats: Robert Almonte. Mary Lou Carrillo, Maria Guadalupe Dempsey, Luis Garcia, Carlos Leon, Alejandro "Al" Patiño, Jose Ramirez, Marvin Carrasco Ryals, Gabriel Serna, Richard Wiles, Larry G. Wilkins
Republicans: George Stoltz
Bastrop County Sheriff:
This position was vacated last year by former Sheriff Richard Hernandez after his indictment on corruption charges.
Democrats: Former DPS trooper Tommy Oates vs. former FBI agent Wayne Smith and Bastrop Deputy Glenn Wobus.
Republicans: Rosanna Abreo vs. Terry Pickering
Let me know what other Texas DA, Sheriffs or criminal judicial races your paying attention to during the 2008 election cycle.