Out of Texas' four federal judicial districts, only in the Northern District has the media published names of potential candidates. According to Gromer Jeffers at the Dallas News: "former U.S. assistant attorneys Larry Jarrett, Terri Moore and Mike Snipes, and federal prosecutor Sarah Saldana," along with a relative unknown, Dallas lawyer Roger Williams (not the former GOP Texas Secretary of State) are all presently in the running.
In the Western District, I've heard Travis County Attorney David Escamilla mentioned for the US Attorney slot, an appointment I would personally support. (I've known David since the late '80s when he was the assistant county attorney assigned to respond to a slew of open records requests related to tracking S&L-era related real estate scandals - he was always forthright, forthcoming, professional, and as far as I can tell, just a nice guy.)
On the other hand, I've not heard a peep about possible candidates in the Eastern or Southern Districts, nor of any possible competitors for Escamilla.
According to Jeffers, because Texas' two senators are Republican, Obama bypassed them in picking new US Attorneys and instead handed the task to Democrats in the Texas delegation to the US House of Representatives. Jeffers wrote on Sunday that:
That's an interesting twist - probably the first time in years that group has been in a position to collectively flex any political muscle! I'd mentioned earlier that Obama's first Texas judicial pick will be an "emergency" slot in San Antonio - I wonder if Texas Congressional Democrats will also be picking judicial nominees?
Democratic congressional leaders have begun the process of selecting the next U.S. attorney for Texas' Northern District and could notify the White House of their choice to replace Richard Roper in coming days.
"We'll have a meeting [this week], and we might make a decision on what name to send in then," said U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas.
Johnson and U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, are the only two Democratic representatives in the Northern District, which stretches from Dallas southwest to San Angelo and north to Amarillo.
Austin's Lloyd Doggett, chairman of the Democratic congressional delegation in Texas and Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, are also part of the committee that will recommend a nominee to the president.
Who is on the short list for these much-coveted US Attorney slots (or for that matter the open federal district judge's post)? If you've heard of other candidates in the running - particularly in the Eastern and Southern Districts - by all means, please let us know in the comments.