April 21, 2005
Contested Republican primary in CD22?

With all the talk about which Democrats may or may not try to run against Tom DeLay in CD22, seldom is the question asked "What about the Republican primary?" Stina points to this Lawtalkers thread which indicates there are rumblings on the Republican side of the house. One of the names being mentioned is two-time primary challenger Michael Fjetland. I sent Mike an email asking about all this, and here is his reply:

FYI, former GOP Rep Pete McCloskey is coming to Houston to interview me April 30 - he's leading a 'revolt of the elders' - basically he wants the GOP to reform or the moderates bail out and become Democrats. LOL. So this is the last attempt.

Strategy wise, it would help Dems to help a GOP challenger to DeLay - he can be knocked out with only 30,000 votes in the GOP primary (the max who voted in the last primary I ran in in 2002) vs the 150,000 Republcian votes DeLay got in the general in '04.

Dems maxed at 110,000 in Nov '04 -- enough to influence a primary (and give their candidate a 'newbie' to challenge instead of an incumbent) but 110,000 is not enough to win a general in a 60/40 district.

If Morrison or Quan are the candidates even I could beat them. If it's Lampson, it would be tough for any GOP candidate to beat him, since his old district is part of the new D22.


But I'm telling McCloskey there is no use running again unless there is FUNDING. He says if I run as a Republican, there is national funding available.

You heard it here first. Fjetland noted in a followup email that the 20% he got against DeLay in 2002 was done on $5000 and after being temporarily kicked off the ballot. What could he do with some real funding? We may find out.

Elsewhere, DeLayWatch From The District reports on other activity:

The Forum has been contacted several times by Republicans from the District and by some National Republican interests about the dissatisfaction that many mainstream Repbublicans feel about how Tom DeLay has taken his extremism beyond their values. As one might hope, many Republicans do not share Tom DeLay's weird worldview. Now some are voicing their discomfort with their politics being lumped in with what Tom DeLay has come to stand for.

Patricia Baig is a Repbublican from Fort Bend County (in the District) who put her money where her mouth is and took out a full page ad in her local paper to invite Republicans to protest Tom DeLay's recent speech at a local convention. The Republicans tried to discredit her, as they always do when they don't like the message, but she stands tall as a Republican who cannot tolerate Tom DeLay's intolerance for people. The Forum and Patricia Baig made contact and are entering some interesting areas for further discussion.

After a lengthy talk on the phone the Forum agreed to forward the contact information for several Repbublicans who have been contact with the Forum to Ms. Baig to see if they would be interested in working with her in future efforts. Watch this blog for further announcements regarding whether this will be a bi-partisan Forum or whether it will be working with a Republican group with similar objectives. Ms. Baig is not going away and she represents a growing sentiment in the District that Republicans have had enough of Tom DeLay.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 21, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Perhaps the Democrats need to be pushed into voting in the Republican primary. After all, it's open.

Posted by: blank on April 21, 2005 8:56 AM

Fjetland? No. Nice enough guy, but not a winner in CD 22. Ever.

Baig? Republican? No.

Posted by: Chris Elam on April 21, 2005 9:47 AM

Fjetland's reasoning is specious as usual. He's always eager to extrapolate his 5000 votes in the 2002 GOP primary into hundreds of thousands in the general. He spent all of 2004 making wild claims about his chances and none of his predictions came through. Morrison got far more GOP support than Fjetland.

If Fjetland is the only other candidate in the GOP primary, DeLay will sail to the general. Now if an actual serious candidate like Sugar Land Mayor Wallace or Bev Carter were to enter the race, that's a different matter.

Also Fjetland should note that Morrison in 2004 outperformed Lampson's 2002 results in the few areas of the district that overlapped.

Posted by: Texas Nate on April 21, 2005 10:33 AM

Oh yeah. Bev Carter's Fort Bend Star reports that there were all of 20 protestors at the NRA event. Other reports have placed the number as high as several dozen. But other reports have also indicated that many of those protestors did not live in District 22. =)

Let's see... several thousand dollars divided by 20 equals... =)

Posted by: Chris Elam on April 21, 2005 3:21 PM

I would like to see "serious candidate" Bev Carter enter the race!

That would be a hoot! No, it wouldn't be competitive, but it sure would be fun!

Posted by: kevin whited on April 21, 2005 5:31 PM

Serious candidate like Bev Carter?

I would pay money to see that. I really would. That would be funnier than Rush Hour 2.

Posted by: Chris Elam on April 21, 2005 5:53 PM

Blank - Getting crossover votes in the open primary has been Fjetland's stated strategy - it's why he harps on the number of primary voters overall.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on April 22, 2005 9:04 AM

Texas Nate has got to be kidding. First he calls Fjetland's reasoning specious and then goes on to play mean like the devil with numbers. "Outperformed" is a funny word to use when you're using raw numbers after population increases. A Presidental year versus a non-Presidental year.

Texas Nate is a fine one to be calling names.

Posted by: Serious about 22 on April 22, 2005 9:36 PM

Depending on how the Democratic primary shakes out flooding the GOP primary to remove DeLay is a very viable option. After all the GOP did it in Georgia to get rid of a Bush critic for two years.

Posted by: Easter Lemming on April 25, 2005 2:44 PM