And then there were three challengers in the GOP primary against Tom DeLay for CD22.
Thomas A. Campbell, who specializes in environmental law, is the third Republican challenger to take on DeLay, who has held the post since 1985.
Campbell paid the filing fee of $3,125 to the Texas Republican Party in Austin on Wednesday and entered his name in the race.
"We need to return some decency and civility to the way we conduct the public's business," Campbell said.
Campbell said he found it has become increasingly difficult for him to vote for DeLay, who was indicted in September and October on charges related to campaign finances. DeLay has since stepped down as House majority leader.
"I wish I had a choice," Campbell said. "And what I am trying to do is provide Republicans who are conservative a choice, an alternative."
Campbell served as general counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
Fort Bend County Republican Party Chairman Eric Thode described Campbell as a credible candidate but one with low name recognition taking on a popular incumbent.
"He (DeLay) has represented us well, and I am confident he will be re-elected in the primary," Thode said Wednesday.
Thode said Campbell is not well-known among people active in the local GOP parties.
"He has no viable group of supporters," Thode said.
Checking the current Democratic and Republican filings pages, I see maybe five of 21 GOPers who could go unchallenged, while eight of the 11 Dem incumbents may skate. On the Dem side, I know that CDs 06 and 21 through 24 have at least a rumored challenger, leaving 02, 11, 12, 13, and 26 unaccounted for. For the other team, so far only Chet Edwards (CD17), Solomon Ortiz (CD27), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (CD30) have drawn opponents. Edwards will of course have a tough fight on his hands to retain a seat that the GOP thought it should have won last time. Ortiz won with 63% last year. Johnson had only a Libertarian opponent in 2004 and is in one of the safer districts around.
Moving to the State Rep races, Greg notes that we're down to five unchallenged GOP incumbents in Harris County, as a fellow named Scott Brann has signed on to run against Beverly Woolley, but on the other hand, there's only one GOP challenger to any Democratic incumbent, and he hasn't made his filing yet. Far be it from me to complain if that latter trend holds true, and far be it from me to offer a little advice to the Harris County GOP (which they don't need anyway, given how well things have gone for them lately), but some of these Dem-held districts are fairly purple. Let's do a little comparison. Here's all the Harris County State Rep districts that now have Democratic incumbents, and a measure of how blue they are:
Democrat Dist 2004 % Thomas % Stone % Opposed
Allen 131 100.0 21.4 80.6 No
Bailey 140 67.4 41.0 62.9 No
Coleman 147 100.0 21.4 80.9 No
Dutton 142 80.1 22.4 79.9 No
Edwards 146 100.0 27.8 75.5 No
Farrar 148 100.0 42.6 62.3 No
Hernandez 143 100.0 41.5 62.5 No
Hochberg 137 56.6 45.2 58.0 No
Noriega 145 100.0 40.3 63.3 No
Thompson 141 100.0 27.2 74.7 No
Turner 139 100.0 20.3 81.8 No
Vo 149 50.1 55.4 48.8 Yes
Here's the same thing on the Republican side:
Republican Dist 2004 % Thomas % Stone % Opposed
Bohac 138 63.8 61.9 43.2 No
Callegari 132 100.0 71.1 31.3 No
Crabb 127 70.4 73.2 29.5 Yes
Davis, J 129 100.0 68.3 35.1 Yes
Elkins 135 100.0 66.7 36.3 No
Hamric (*) 126 69.3 68.8 34.0 Yes
Nixon (*) 133 78.3 57.6 46.1 Yes
Riddle 150 100.0 73.2 29.4 Yes
Smith, W 128 65.3 66.5 36.5 No
Talton 144 100.0 62.7 40.4 Yes
Van Arsdale 130 100.0 77.6 24.5 No
Wong 134 54.7 59.4 47.3 Yes
Woolley 136 100.0 73.9 31.5 Yes
House District 118, the seat being vacated by Uresti, has historically been a Democratic district. His departure has prompted two Republicans to enter the race: George Antuna, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Steve Salyer, a physician assistant who ran for the seat two years ago.
Two Democrats have announced a run in District 118, but neither has enough name recognition to do well. Unless a strong, well-known Democrat emerges soon, that seat will likely go Republican.