A man running for state representative acknowledged that he once worked as a prostitute but said he's turned his life around and doesn't regret his past.

Tom Malin, who has also sold Mary Kay cosmetics and now markets electricity, conceded that his illicit past could cost him the nomination in the March 7 Democratic primary.

"I've made mistakes in my life, and I've stood before my creator and I've accepted responsibility for my behavior," Malin said in Friday's Dallas Morning News.

On his campaign Web page, Malin said he is "committed to giving our families a voice in Austin, with a focus on education, the economy, and restoring a 'spirit of ethics' to our State House."

He said he would stay in the race.

"I don't regret my past, nor do I wish to shut the door on my past," he said. "I think anyone who has made mistakes in their lives can be a viable member of community and society."

Malin, a former member of the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board, is a managing director for the marketing arm of a Dallas electricity provider, his Web site says.

Malin said he's been sober for 13 years after being addicted to alcohol and suffering an abusive childhood.

The Dallas Tejano Democrats endorsed Malin on Thursday, before learning of his past.

"Obviously we will have to reconsider our decision based on the new information," Chairman Domingo Garcia said.

Malin faces retired salesman Jack Borden in the Democratic primary. The winner will run against incumbent Republican Dan Branch in November to represent a district covering much of central Dallas.