August 20, 2006
Wallace to make his announcement on Monday

Former Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, the Chosen One Who Wasn't, talks to KTRK.

The first person to file as a Republican write-in candidate, Mayor Wallace had not commented publicly ever since Republican precinct chairs chose someone else to throw their support behind. But now, he's opening up to Eyewitness News about the unusual selection process and his future plans.

While it's no secret that Wallace wants the job DeLay left behind, it's also quite obvious that on Thursday, Republican precinct chairs picked someone else -- Houston Councilmember Shelly Sekula-Gibbs to support. And Wallace admits he's not a fan of the closed door selection process.

"We've got a large voter base in Congressional District 22 and having the voice of 83 individuals coming together, is that representative of the entire district?" he asked.

What's so funny about this is that Wallace was once hoping to be the choice of four individuals that were selected collectively by not much more than 83 other individuals. From a small-d democratic standpoint, the Benkiser Gang anointment process wasn't all that much different from the original Gang of Four process. Mostly, they had a lot less time to work with. It's just that Wallace was able to deceive himself into thinking that he had a shot with the Gang of Four, but even he could see the writing on the wall with the Benkiser Gang.

But Wallace has an even tougher decision -- whether or not to stay in the race as a write-in candidate against Democratic nominee Nick Lampson. Our political expert, Dr. Richard Murray, says it's almost impossible to win with one write-in candidate. He can't imagine the Republicans would have any shot with two.

"It's complicated, but my guess would be he's best advised to pass on putting his name as a write-in candidate and yield this to Ms. Gibbs with the expectation it won't be very helpful to her," said Dr. Murray.

Mayor Wallace says he'll be announcing his decision on whether to stay in the race on Monday. And a lot of people will be waiting for an answer.

"With all of the different changes that took place this week, obviously I am doing a lot of soul searching, meeting with a number of representatives to talk about the next step and that'll be announced on Monday," he said.

Yes, as Chris says, it's pretty impressive being able to get on TV to announce that you're going to make an announcement. Will he unfile, if that's even possible? Or will he stick it out? Either way, I agree with Fred: this is all about his 2008 campaign, because it's all about him.

Juanita thinks Wallace has nothing to lose. Muse channels The Clash for Wallace. For what it's worth, I think Wallace has nothing to lose, either. Again, if you assume that being the Congressman from Sugar Land is what Wallace wants to be, then what could anyone entice him with to drop out now? The only thing I can think of that makes any sense is a promise to support him in 2008 regardless of what happens this year. If you want to get into a little conspiracy theorizing, imagine someone like Tom DeLay telling Wallace that all that talk about providing massive financial help to Sekula Gibbs was a load of hooey. They know it's a lost cause but while they couldn't bear the idea of having no Republican at all, they didn't want to waste someone who'd have a real shot at Lampson in two years by making that person a laughingstock now. So they settled on Shelley, whom they don't truly respect, and now they want to make sure Wallace doesn't make a fool of himself so he can finally be the true Chosen One, supported by all, next time.

You can take that line of thinking all kinds of places, but there's still a big hole in it: Why would anyone - at least, anyone who is supposed to be officially neutral in these matters - promise to support a specific candidate for 2008 now, when we don't know who else might get into the race? What if Robert Eckels decides that maybe he isn't so worried about spending time with his family any more? What if Paul Bettencourt decides he's bored with being Harris County Tax Assessor? How silly would you feel as a Wallace '08 supporter if something like that happened? And that doesn't even address the issue of what happens if Sekula Gibbs actually wins. I know, we're in ConspiracyTheoryLand here, but I imagine the question would come up in our hypothetical conversation. Look at it this way: Given everything you know about Mayor Dave, if you had to explain this grandiose scheme to him, would you then trust him to keep it a secret? You can see why none of this seems realistic.

So I guess there's one last what-if scenario to play out before we finally get down to the by now mundane business of actual campaigning. Maybe we'll start to get a handle on how much the Republicans do plan to spend on this race, too. As always, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Bob Dunn thinks Wallace will stay the course.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 20, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

It looks like the infighting between the Ft. Bend County Republican Party and the Harris County Republican Party, no doubt what is behind the curious "selection" of Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, as in there will be more money behind her, will just ensure that Nick Lampson will be the next congressman from District 22.

Adding to the confusion is the Libertarian candidate, obviously very impressive since no one can remember his name, who is "sort of" indicating the Republican voters should vote for him because he is "sort of" a Republican. Has worked all these years for Ron Paul, so why not? Except Ron Paul always has the "R" beside his name. Not the "L."

Should be fun to watch. And it will be good to have Nick Lampson back in Congress.

Posted by: Baby Snooks on August 20, 2006 10:04 PM

This could be a starting point for the next GOP challenge as Wallach could ultimately draw more write-in votes than Srilanka-Gibbs.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on August 21, 2006 11:58 AM