December 21, 2005
Filing news: Hammer Time

Tom DeLay has officially filed for reelection in CD22. Not exactly stop-the-presses stuff, as it would have been had he not filed, but it's news when DeLay sneezes, so this is on the Metro section front page. The only interesting bit in the story is the note that DeLay submitted petition signatures for his access to the ballot, instead of paying the $3000 filing fee as one might have expected.

Rather than pay a filing fee, the Sugar Land Republican filed by petition to the state GOP, delivering nearly 1,000 signatures from registered voters in the district, twice the number required.

"We wanted to show people the kind of support we have," DeLay said in an interview. "We had volunteers, people wanting to do something and fight back; we thought this would be a good exercise to increase our volunteer base."

I noted that DeLay was going this route some time ago, and I remain puzzled by it, despite his assertion that it's a show of strength. Look in the comments of that post and you'll see I'm not the only one. For a campaign that can drop almost three grand on "donor gifts" at the Amelia Marche Burette gift shop on Amelia Island, FL, it just seems odd that they'd choose to be frugal here. And I still don't buy the notion that getting a mere thousand names on a petition is any kind of measure of support for a guy of DeLay's stature.

I'm going to get a little grumpy at this point about the fact that this will be the biggest and most comprehensive story we're likely to get about any candidate's filing. There's filings going on all over Harris County and the surrounding area, including one for a Democratic primary here in CD07 and one in CD14 for a GOP primary that should provide an interesting contrast between the incumbent and the challenger, but all we get is this and a story about Victor Morales, whose target district is nowhere near the bulk of the Chron's readership. Go ahead, search their archives for names like Murff, Henley, Ankrum, Mynatt, or Sklar. Zippo. That's at the Congressional level. Forget the State Rep races, unless your name is Heflin. I think we deserve better than that.

Anyway. Speaking of people named Heflin, Crosby County Judge Joe Heflin has announced that he will run on the Democratic ticket to replace the retiring Rep. Pete Laney in HD85 out in West Texas. I've said that this seat is a near-sure bet to flip, but maybe it's not quite as sure as I thought:

HD 85, which Laney has represented as a Democrat for more than 30 years, is generally considered a Republican district that only needed him to retire before a GOP candidate took it. However, in the benchmark 2002 lieutenant governor’s race, Republican David Dewhurst won the seat over Democrat John Sharp with 52.5 percent over 47.5 percent.

So who knows? I'd still bet against us retaining this seat, but at least we won't give it up without a fight.

Finally, it won't get mentioned in the Chron, but Jim Henley made his official filing today at HCDP headquarters. He and David Murff will be on "Texas Politics-The Real Deal" with David Jones and Gary Polland tomorrow night at 6:30 on Time-Warner channel 17. The call-in number is 713-807-1794 if you want to ask them a question. Tune in and see who you think should be the one to take on John Culberson.

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

Thanks for kicking the Chronicle in the pants! Kristen Mack called today and will write about our filing today. Jim Henley Congressional District 7.

Posted by: Jim Henley on December 21, 2005 9:51 PM

I'm glad the Chron covered it today, but I'm a little peeved at this line:

"If he wins the March Democratic primary, and so far he's the only candidate, Henley will be the underdog in November in a district that has voted about 2-1 Republican in recent elections."

I know he hasn't filed, but David Murff has been at progressive and Democratic events all over town since at least October, talking about his candidacy, when I first met him. Seems like more than a little misinformed to claim, on the same day the two candidates are appearing together on television, that Henley's the only one in the race.

Posted by: RMG on December 22, 2005 11:21 AM

I agree! Mr. Murff has been plugging away at this long before Henley ever thought of throwing his hat in the ring. I wish both of them the best of luck, but give Mr. Murff a bit of credit here!

Posted by: Ken on December 22, 2005 7:56 PM