December 18, 2007
Filing news: Michael Skelly in CD07

I've mentioned before that I've been waiting on an announcement in CD07. Today is the day for that announcement.

Wind-energy executive Michael Skelly today unveiled his Democratic candidacy against U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, and indicated he will pour a significant chunk of his money into the race for the conservative 7th District.

Skelly, of West University Place, is chief development officer for Horizon Wind, which investor Michael Zilkha of Houston and his father, Selim, bought about seven years ago for $6 million. This year a Portuguese utility company bought the firm for about $2.2 billion.

Skelly, brought to the United States as a child after being born to Irish parents in England, would not discuss how much money he will put into his campaign. Candidates can spend an unlimited amount on their own behalf, and in past Houston-area campaigns some of have laid out more than $3 million to get elected.

Funding aside, Skelly, 46, said the district deserves to be represented by a newcomer with business experience in the crucial realm of energy instead of what he called a career politician interested in fighting partisan battles.

Culberson, he said, has "never met a problem he couldn't make worse." Skelly said the congressman has failed to work with local government officials to help solve mass transit problems, for example.

Skelly will make for an interesting candidate in this district. He's a businessman with a background in energy, and should be able to run as a technocrat, which I think will be appealing to the mostly well-educated constituency in CD07. Being well-funded won't hurt, either, though of course one could have said the same thing about Peter Wareing in 2000. I don't think it'll be too hard to be a better candidate than Wareing was, however.

At this time, I don't know what Jim Henley's status is. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Henley and what he accomplished in 2006. He ran an efficient, issues-oriented grassroots campaign last year, and was a top Democratic performer in CD07. What I'm looking for this year is for someone to build on what Henley accomplished. That could be Henley, that could be Skelly, and that could be someone else, but that's what I'm looking for. We'll see how it plays out.

I've got Skelly's press release beneath the fold. Expect to hear a lot more about him in the coming weeks.

Today I announce my candidacy for United States Congress. The 7th District is one of the best educated and hardest working in America and it's time the citizens of this District had a representative who reflects that. I will bring new energy to Washington to work to turn things around and get this country back on track. I need your support to do that.

I came from Ireland with my family when I was a child. We had only $200 to our name and few possessions, but that didn't matter because my family believed that if you worked hard, played by the rules and got a good education, you could succeed. So that's what I did - I studied hard, went to college and got a business degree from Harvard.

I built a wind energy company from the ground up, turning a two-man operation into a multi-billion dollar business. I've been blessed with opportunities to succeed and I made the most of them. Now I'm running for Congress to make sure everyone can get those opportunities. I will use the lessons I learned in business to work with both parties to solve the challenges facing our country.

When it comes to the change we need in our nation, the current war in Iraq tops the list. While the war was being poorly managed, John Culberson was signing off on a blank check with no accountability. That's no way to run a foreign policy, a business, or a family budget. It is time to bring things to a close in Iraq and start looking at ways to bring our troops home.

We have a choice to make this November. We can once again send to Washington a career politician who's never met a problem he couldn't make worse. Or we can send an entrepreneur with a record of getting things done and solving problems.

You will hear a lot about my candidacy in the coming weeks, but I wanted you to hear it from me first. Please take a moment to visit my Web site - - and sign up to join my campaign.

Thank you,

Michael Skelly
Candidate for Texas' Seventh Congressional District

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 18, 2007 to Election 2008