District 146 incumbent faces familiar challenger

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by Leigh Frillici / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 22 at 11:45 PM

HOUSTON -- The 2010 race for the Braeswood/Meyerland District 146 seat pits the incumbent against a familiar challenger -- both men have lost and won to each other before.

The incumbent, State Rep. Al Edwards, is a long-time state lawmaker, who lost his seat and won it back again, against challenger Borris Miles.  Miles was the political newcomer who took that seat in 2006 only to lose it to Edwards in 2008.

In 2006, Edwards was criticized for legislation he sponsored, which attempted to tone down suggestive cheerleading moves.

“Some special interest groups put a whole lot of money into that campaign, we weren't ready for it now we are,” said Edwards.

In 2008, the year of Miles’ failed reelection bid, Miles was defending himself against charges that he kissed a married woman and brandished a gun at a Christmas party.

“My opponent and his republican friends conspired to take me out of office with a scandal that I was later acquitted of,” Miles said.

Miles says he always greets constituents with a kiss, saying it's part of his upbringing as a gentleman, and that he won't stop.

“How did I greet you?” Miles told 11 News Reporter Leigh Frillici.  “With a kiss and a hug, did I not?  I have not changed. I'm going to continue to do that.”

Now Miles and Edwards are locked in a battle again.

“There's no committee I cannot get on because of my seniority, that means district 146 goes in at the top,” said Edwards.  “We’re putting senior citizens homes in the district.  We provided jobs to our management district by the thousands.”

“We should have the district of milk and honey,” said Miles.  “But, we don’t.  We have the district that's suffering from all the ills, unemployment, drop-out rates, and healthcare.”

11 news political expert Bob Stein said voter turnout could be a big factor in the race.

“Lower turnout --core democrats-- probably favors Borris Miles,” said Stein. “High turnout, then I think Al Edwards gets the advantage of incumbency.”

With no Republican contender, whoever wins this primary, wins the seat.  So, both candidates will be hitting the homestretch in the next week, trying to convince voters this is "their time" again.

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