June 02, 2005
Courage in CD21?

Matt reports a rumor from the 21nd Congressional District.

The buzz is that John Courage may challenge Lamar Smith again. Courage is a San Antonio teacher and former challenger to Smith in 2002. In 2002 Smith received 73% of the vote and raised over $700,000 compared to Courage's 25% and a little over $150,000. Some view this as a long shot seat, and I couldn't disagree more.

Last year Rhett Smith garnered 35% of the vote and was only 6,000 votes away from winning Austin. This is a candidate that was originally running for President and after his loss decided to run for the Mayor of San Antonio.

I agree with Matt's assessment of CD21. I think it's within reach, and I know there's talk about making it a target next year. Rhett Smith is a perennial office-seeker, and served as little more than a placeholder on the 2004 ballot. Lamar Smith essentially ran unopposed, and he got a relatively paltry 61.5% of the vote while nearly losing the Travis County portion of his district. A real candidate, with a reason to vote for him or her plus a decent bankroll, can make a race of this.

Is John Courage that candidate? He's affiliated with a good-government group called Citizens for Ethical Government - San Antonio, which should fit nicely into any campaign narrative he'd be likely to take against DeLay lapdog Smith. A little Googling around suggests to me that he ran a fairly decent campaign in mostly hostile territory against an incumbent who had no shame about exploiting 9/11 for his own crass purposes. The Secretary of State district report on CD21 in 2002 had the statewide split at 29.2D/70.8R, implying Courage underperformed slightly in 2002 (the 2004 split was 36.2/63.8, meaning Smith underperformed last year). So in short, I don't know for certain. But what I've read about him so far I've liked, so if John Courage goes for a rematch in 2006, I'll be happy to support him. We'll see what happens.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 02, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

I've met him a couple of times. Real nice guy.

Posted by: Jim D on June 2, 2005 9:36 PM

It should be really easy to paint L Smith with the Delay brush....

Posted by: Craig on June 2, 2005 10:46 PM

This is foolish. This district is overwhelmingly Republican, especially north Bexar County which Smith carried by 50,000 votes.

Smith also has far west Travis County which is the most Republican part of the county. It's possible that Smith could lose the portion of Travis, but he and the GOP are strong as mustard gas in the rest of the district.

And John Courage is a perennial candidate, just the way Joe Sullivan is. Courgae got beat in 2004 for Bexar County Demo Chairman.

If you can't tell the difference between a serious candidate and a clown and a competitive district versus a solid seat, then there is no hope for a Democratic majority for anything anytime soon.

Posted by: Tommy in SA on June 3, 2005 2:32 PM