District 22, Richard Morrison — A Democrat who promises to place the district's interests above grasping for partisan power in Washington, Morrison seeks to unseat the long-serving Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay. Morrison, an environmental lawyer and Sugar Land resident, vows to do a better job in securing federal funds for Houston-area transportation and homeland security. Morrison says he would work to close corporate tax loopholes and invest more in education and health care. He is personally opposed to abortion.
DeLay is the powerful House majority leader, perhaps more influential than the House speaker. The District 22 election thus has national implications that bear heavily on the race.
DeLay has been reprimanded several times by the House ethics committee for an indifference to the rules that reflects poorly on the House and on Texas. Most recently, the committee's bipartisan membership admonished DeLay for offering a favor in exchange for a colleague's vote; giving the appearance of wrongdoing by exchanging access on the golf course for campaign contributions from energy executives; and improperly trying to use federal aviation officials to locate Democratic legislators who had fled Texas.
DeLay's misplaced priorities were most evident in his previous ban on federal rail transit funds for Houston, causing the funds to go to other cities. DeLay was behind the redistricting effort in Texas that displaced badly needed property tax relief and school finance reform as the Austin leadership's top priorities.
Morrison faces an uphill battle in this race. The Houston region and the entire country will be better off if he succeeds.