Connie J. Kelley, a Republican running for presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, received financial support from a political action committee largely funded by former CCA Judge Charlie Baird. Baird, a Democrat who was defeated for re-election in 1998, gave $3,000 last Aug. 24 to Lone Star Heritage, a general purpose committee which donated $3,000 to Kelley last Dec. 29. Kelley paid her filing fee the next day.

Baird, who sits as a visiting appellate judge, says he did not purposely funnel money to Kelley, an Austin defense lawyer. He says he made the donation to the PAC, which helped him finance his 1998 race, from his leftover campaign funds. Baird says when he made the donation last August, Kelley’s name had not surfaced as a candidate.

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