State government and politics

Compiled from staff reports
Austin American-Statesman
Saturday, November 27, 2004

Heflin loses corner office

State Rep. Talmadge Heflin, R-Houston, didn't just lose his chairmanship to the powerful House Appropriations Committee. His 32-vote loss to Democrat Hubert Vo also cost him one of the perks of 22 years in the Legislature: a third-floor corner office in the Capitol with access to a balcony.

Seventh in seniority if he were returning, Heflin's office has been claimed by another 22-year veteran, Ed Kuempel, R-Seguin. Legislative members start moving offices in December, several weeks before the House will vote on Heflin's legal challenge to his election loss.

Would Heflin get his office back if the House chose to seat him over his opponent?

"We'll just have to face that if it happens," said Republican Houston Rep. Peggy Hamric, who chairs the committee that assigns offices.