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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

TX-22: Bugman Exterminated

Posted by DavidNYC

Via Jesse Lee at the DCCC, the AP has the scoop:

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay intends to withdraw as a candidate for Congress, a Republican strategist said Tuesday, a step that would allow the party to field a write-in candidate in hopes of holding his seat.

The development came one day after Texas Republicans lost a court battle in their bid to replace DeLay on the November ballot.

There will be no Republican candidate to face Democrat Nick Lampson, a former House member.

Charlie Wilson pulled off a write-in victory in the OH-06 Democratic primary, and even though that was a decidedly smaller affair, it still cost a ton of money. I have to imagine that even in a deep-red district like this one, a general election write-in campaign would be extremely tough for the GOP. So is this race now Lean Dem? I don't want to get too giddy, but I'd have to imagine that it is.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Texas | Technorati

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Tracked on August 13, 2006 10:45 PM


Woo!! Good news indeed! Any thoughts as to what the GOP will do? I agree with you DavidNYC, this race should be "leans dem" but it is in Texas and a solid red district after all. I also will be cautiously optimistic. Also, this will probably take up even more resources from the GOP warchest, good news for our Dem warriors in other pickup districts! =)

Posted by: CanadianDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 03:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Moving up on the ranks for TX-22:

Bob Lee
Ted Jones

Moving down on the ranks for TX-22:

Dmitri Dzhafarov
Amie Hufft

Granted, Texas will probably allow for having 10 variants on how your name is spelled.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 04:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Any write-in candidate likely will lose 5% or more of his/her intended votes from "spoilage." Lots of money will need to be spent telling voters how to vote for the candidate, and even how to correctly spell the name. (Gosh, is it "John Smith, Jon Smith, or John Smyth?" And do I include his middle initial?)

The process matters a lot too, and it's hard to teach everything to every voter. The San Diego mayor's race nearly went to a write-in candidate a couple of years ago, but ballots that had properly written in the candidate's name were rejected when the oval was not colored in as well.

Personally, I'm becoming optimistic about Nick's chances, but being that it's a Republican district, I'd stay with "toss-up" at least for now. "Cautiously optimistic" is well-said.

Posted by: hilltopper [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 04:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'd imagine, if the TXGOP is serious about keeping the seat, they'd run some kind of sticker campaign - send out a sticker with a GOP-endorsed candidate's name printed right on it for voters to stick right to their ballots. However, the money issue is palpable - how much are they willing to spend on keeping their most corrupt leader's seat when they have oh so many endangered incumbents around the country?

Posted by: JelloAbode [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 04:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't see how the Republicans pull this off with a write-in. Whoever they pick as a write-in candidate would be a complete unknown, just a few months out from election day. Unlike Wilson, this is an expensive media market (Houston) and it will cost a rediculously large sum to educate voters. Meanwhile Lampson's already got $2 million in the bank.

So really, this is a win-win situation. If the Republicans decide to contest the race, that's $5-10 million they won't be spending elsewhere. If they decide to let it go, we get the seat.

Posted by: dantheman [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 04:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

There are some issues that need to be considered here. (1) Though Houston is an expensive media market, most of the congressional races don't involve much media purchasing. most are done there by direct mail. (2) there are a couple of high profile folks looking at the race, the Harris County Judge Robert Eckels and a city council person from Houston, named Sekula. both have decent to high name recognition. I doubt Eckels would want to do the write in campaign but he might. it's a free shot and while most of hte district is outside or just outside of Harris County, ( or was the last time I looked), he is well known and his father was well known. he is also well liked.

There are some decent arguments against running, however. Texas law doesn't allow voters to take recommendations into the voting booth, so no material can be taken in. Second, a lot of money has to be raised in a very short period of time and, neither of hte leading candidates has a federal bank account so their existing funds can't be transferred. (3) I don't know the answer to this one but settling on one candidate can be a serious problem. if they don't decide, you could have multiple GOP write in campaigns, theoretically, and create a true nightmare for the GOP.

the final issue is that the district has a 55% tilt to the GOP. it won't take much to keep it in GOP hands if they can overcome a lot of obstacles.

Posted by: charlton [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 06:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

one more note about Tx-22. According to teh Houston Chronicle, Sugarland Mayor David Wallace has decided to jump into the race as a GOP write in candidate. Shelley Gibbs-Sekula, the Houston City Council person, remains undecided though appears to be leaning toward going for it. the candidates from the primary are barred from seeking the post under Texas law and state elected officials would have to resign from office. robert Eckels, who I mentioned above, is out of it.

Posted by: charlton [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 9, 2006 02:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, judging by this, Sekula-Gibbs appears to be in.

Wallace has one as well

Posted by: Jay [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 11, 2006 07:20 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment