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Would you believe there could still be a special election in CD22?

Believe it.

[W]ith all eyes on the November election, overlooked is the fact that the Constitution states that the governor shall call a special election to fill DeLay’s unexpired term.

Despite previously declaring he would call a special election, Gov. Rick Perry has yet to do so. His office is now leaving open the possibility he may decide against calling one.

The deadline for calling a special election is Tuesday, said Scott Haywood, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, which oversees elections in Texas.

In April, Perry said he would call a special election to fill the final two months of DeLay’s term.

But spokeswoman Kathy Walt indicated Friday that Perry was weighing his options.

“The matter is being reviewed, and no decision has been made at this time,” Walt said in an e-mail response to The Daily News.

Incredible. As I said several weeks ago, we’re way past the point where anything in this story could shock me. And Lord knows, I’d never put anything past Rick Perry if he thought he could milk political advantage out of it. If someone could convince him that calling a special election to coincide with the general election might help boost Shelley Sekula-Gibbs’ chances in the latter, I’ve no doubt that he’d do it.

Having a special election and the general election poses some risks. That’s especially true for Sekula-Gibbs, who must not only convince voters she is the best candidate, but also must convince them to write in her name.

A special election that could include more candidates could confuse voters, and some might simply skip the race.

Lampson plans to be on both ballots, should a special election be called. Campaign manager Mike Malaise said a staff member was set to deliver the necessary paperwork and a $3,000 filing fee.

Smither said he was hoping the governor would not call a special election.

He noted how confusing the race already is.

Even if Perry does call a special election, Smither does not plan to run for the unexpired term. He plans, instead, to concentrate on the bigger prize.

Sekula-Gibbs would not speculate about what she’d do. Her spokeswoman, Lisa Dimond, noted that the governor had not called a special election.

I don’t see a special election as much of a risk to Sekula-Gibbs, since it would be a vehicle for getting somewhere on the ballot, and it would increase the level of coverage of the race. Anything that boosts her visibility and generates more discussion of her write-in bid is good for her. Yes, some people might be confused by seeing her name on one location, and assume that that’s the only place they need to vote for her. I’m not sure how solidly I’d count on those folks to write her in under any circumstance.

We’ll see what happens. Whatever it is, it will have nothing to do with what’s best for the citizens of CD22 and everything to do with political calculations. If there were going to be a special election to fill out DeLay’s term, it should have happened well before CD22 became the longest standing vacant Congressional seat in Texas history (PDF). Greg in TX22 argues that the Governor is Constitutionally required to call a special election, and notes that Kathy Walt sang a different tune on the subject back in April. Note Perry’s statement at that time: “If I don’t get it [DeLay’s resignation] by close of business tomorrow, the election will be in November.” If that’s what he intended to do all along, then why is he waiting till next week to make it official?

Thanks to South Texas Chisme for the catch.

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