As of today, we know what the immediate plans are for Democratic incumbents Charlie Stenholm (running in CD 19 against freshman Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer), Chet Edwards (running in CD 17, most likely against State Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth), Lloyd Doggett (running in CD 25 with District Judge Leticia Hinojosa as a primary opponent), Chris Bell (running in CD 9 with Justice of the Peace Al Green as a primary opponent), and Jim Turner (not running, rumored to be gearing up for a statewide campaign in 2006). That leaves three threatened incumbents: Martin Frost, Nick Lampson, and Max Sandlin.
Frost appears to be the closest to making a final decision. According to the Associated Press, he's going to challenge Republican Rep. Pete Sessions in the 32nd CD.
"His mind is made up 99.9 percent sure," a Dallas-based Democratic political strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the newspaper. "This is going to be a very tough race for him, as he's not considered a conservative Democrat. But if he runs a solid campaign and positions himself as a centrist, he's got a good shot."
Two other Democratic strategists, in Austin and Washington, D.C., also said Frost is almost sure to run in the 32nd District.
A Democratic strategist in Washington, also speaking on condition that his name not be used, said he has also heard that Frost is leaning toward the Sessions district, noting it has a substantial minority base.
Sessions, R-Dallas, and Frost serve together on the influential House Rules Committee, but rarely agree on major legislation. Both are veteran fund-raisers, with Frost raising $1.7 million in the last election while Sessions amassed $730,000.
Frost's spokesman, Jess Fassler, said the congressman will make a decision on Friday.
"He's hearing from people all over North Texas urging him to run in their districts because they know how effective he has been," Fassler said.
Hyatt hotel officials confirmed that Frost has booked a room at Union Station in downtown Dallas beginning at 2 p.m. Friday.
"Once Martin announces, I'll be very happy to talk about it," Sessions said.
Nick Lampson has been rumored to run against Tom DeLay in the 22nd CD, and he's been reportedly thinking about the new 2nd CD, former home of Jim Turner. Now the Baytown Sun suggests a third possibility: CD 14, currently held by Ron Paul.
In the newly drawn 14th District, which now includes the eastern third of Baytown (including the Chambers County portion), only incumbent Ron Paul has filed so far. The Surfside Republican and one-time Libertarian Party presidential candidate has held the seat since 1997.
No Democrats have yet filed for the district, although there has been speculation that U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Beaumont, may do so. The new 14th District includes much of the area covered by Lampsonís former 9th District. A representative of Lampsonís office did not return a phone call Tuesday.
As for Max Sandlin...Haven't heard a thing. There was some talk before the court ruling that Sandlin might take on Ralph Hall - this was also given as a reason for Hall's party-switch. We'll see what he does.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 15, 2004 to Killer D's | TrackBack