Monday, June 18, 2007

Field of GOP Candidates Who WON’T Run Against Nick Lampson Ever Widens

It’s getting to be a big club: the assemblage of possible Republican challengers to Nick Lampson’s Texas CD-22 House seat, who have decided NOT to do this, just gets bigger and bigger. John Zerwas is the latest to join the club.

It all started way back in January 2006 when Tom DeLay initiated what is coming to be a popular movement in his former district: deciding not to run against Nick Lampson. Recall the Burka story about how Fort Bend County Chairman Eric Thode received a phone call from one of DeLay’s staffers, revealing that Tom was having second thoughts on being the CD-22 GOP candidate in ’06.

What followed were GOP machinations that would have made Machiavelli envious, resulting in DeLay being declared ineligible to run for Congress by Texas state GOP chair Tina Benkiser.

In the circus act that followed, GOP office holders avalanched onto the political stage - all of them vying for the GOP CD-22 nomination. We had, in no particular order:

Paul Bettencourt
Robert Eckels
Andy Meyers
Bob Talton
David Wallace
Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
Charlie Howard
Mike Jackson
Tom Campbell

When the news came down from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, a ruling later upheld by Justice Scalia, that any Republican opposition to Nick Lampson would have to be as a write-in, most of these candidates scattered as ashes to the four winds.

So is it happening again? You be the judge. Of the eight names I have seen mentioned as likely to run against Nick, five are now joining the club started by Tom DeLay, which has been renamed the “I-Won’t-Run-Against-Lampson-Because-Apparently-He’s-Not-Nancy-Pelosi’s-Lapdog Republicans”:

David Wallace – won’t even run for re-election. Fork firmly stuck in him.
Paul Bettencourt – Has kids in school and needs a paycheck so he can’t quit his job.
John Zerwas – Also has a family that he doesn’t want to leave while he is in DC.
Charlie Howard – If Talton’s in Charlies’ out
Larry Taylor – If Talton’s in Larry’s out.

That leaves us with three. Which of the three is least likely to join this growing club? Shelley Sekula Gibbs. She’s in, oh yeah . . .

Which of the three is most likely to join? Bob Talton. He’s crazy but he’s not stupid. If he runs in the Republican primary in March, we have an OPEN SEAT for the state House. An open seat that can easily be changed from Red to Blue. He won by name recognition in ’06; his Democratic opponent needed only another 10% of the vote to win. With no name recognition on the ballot, the race is a toss-up.

All he has to realize is that he would not be running against a Pelosi-controlled marionette, as the other five have, and he’ll see that if he goes for it, he will be personally responsible for the loss of another state House seat with nothing to show for it.


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