After sending out his withdrawal email yesterday, Richard Morrison posted a Kos diary with the same message, getting many well-deserved messages of thanks and expressions of support for his mother. He specifically responded to several people who muttered about DCCC interference and was quite clear about there not being any, and exhorted his followers to support whoever the nominee winds up being, Nick Lampson or Gordon Quan. He's a class act to the end, and that's a big part of the reason we all like him so much. I'll take this opportunity to thank Richard Morrison again for being the kind of candidate who could make us all believe that DeLay had a glass jaw. We wouldn't be where we are now without that.
It's been 24 hours since I first heard the news now, and it's still a bit unreal. Having been a supporter of Richard's for so long, it's hard to say goodbye, especially in such a sudden fashion after a frenzy of activity. That's life, I guess.
I've invested a fair amount in Richard and his candidacy. While I never feared the prospect of a contested primary, I did feel as though he had more than earned the right to a second shot at DeLay. I've talked many times about his overperformance relative to other Democrats in this district, and as a result I have always believed that he was the candidate with the best chance to win. I believe his performance was as much about his hard work and personal qualities as it was about the sleaze and corruption of his opponent. I can't help but feel a little disappointed that he won't get the chance to build on that.
But that's the reality, and dwelling on what might have been is a fool's game. I don't know if Nick Lampson will now have a clear path to carry the banner next year, or if Gordon Quan or some other contenders will jump in as well. I do know that if Richard had to bow out, I'm glad that a candidate as strong and qualified as Lampson is already in place to keep going. Of the Congressmen forced out by DeLay's redistricting scheme, Lampson was my favorite, and had he chosen to take on DeLay in 2004 instead of now I'd have been as passionate a supporter of him as I was of Morrison.
In addition to being a good, solid progressive candidate, Lampson brings a number of assets to the table - fundraising ability, name recognition, and a story line ("Congressman drawn out of a job by DeLay takes the fight to the embattled Hammer") that the media ought to find enticing, especially in conjunction with DeLay nemesis Chris Bell running for Governor. I can't say he ran the best campaign I've ever seen in 2004, however. I do hope he's learned from that experience.
If Lampson gets challenged by Quan, I expect I'll remain neutral through the primary, as I think both men are worthy of fullblooded support. I can't really think of anyone else who might give this a try, but if someone does, I'll reserve judgment. You all know where I really want Quan to run, so let's just leave things at that for now.
The Chron picks up the story today. I have to wonder who wrote the headline, since Nick Lampson is a declared candidate, something the Chron itself reported last week. Whatever.
To wrap things up before I get into total ramble mode, I'm sad about yesterday's events but as optimistic as ever for the future, and ready to regroup and move forward. Richard, we salute you, we'll miss you, we wish you the best for you and your family, and we hope to see you on the scene again soon. Nick and Gordon, get your game faces on. Time's a-wasting.
Reaction to yesterday's announcement from elsewhere: BOR, Nate, Dos Centavos, The Red State, Pink Dome, Stina, Lyn Wall, Greg, The Jeffersonian, PDiddie, Fort Bend Democrats, The Stakeholder. Kos gives Richard a front page sendoff today though he can't help speculating about nefarious DCCC involvement. Fortunately, the commenters seem to be looking past that to Richard's statement (he's also added a comment reiterating what he said) and the level of support for Lampson appears to be good. Unity is a good thing here.
UPDATE: Supreme Irony chimes in.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 26, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack