Houston’s Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal bluntly rejected the local Republican Party leadership’s request last night night that he abandon his 2008 re-election campaign because of a scandal over personal e-mails he sent to his secretary on government computers, the Houston Chronicle reports. “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” Rosenthal asked party chairman Jared Woodfill, said County Judge Ed Emmett, who attended the emergency meeting.
Fifteen members of the party’s advisory committee voted unanimously to urge him to withdraw from the March 4 Republican primary for district attorney. Rosenthal said, “I’m going to run for district attorney and I am going to win.” The scandal arose last week when some of Rosenthal’s e-mails surfaced in a lawsuit by two men who say they were abused by sheriff’s deputies when they videotaped deputies serving a warrant. In several 2007 e-mails, Rosenthal declared his affection for his executive secretary, Kerry Stevens. Rosenthal is married. He acknowledged he had an affair with Stevens years ago and denied that their romance has been rekindled. “At this point he is damaged goods, and the party is reflecting that,” Emmett said.