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Filing news: Piling on in CD22

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.

Well, at least they’re not claiming he isn’t a Republican. Even Chris Elam goes moderately easy on the snark. The Houston Press has more on Campbell. While I agree with Elam and with Greg about his chances, I’ll be interested to see if the anti-DeLay trio can hold down the Hammer’s percentage of the vote in March. At what level of opposition support does one start whispering about an incumbent’s hold on power? I say that if DeLay doesn’t crack 70% in the primary, you can commence with the questions.

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.

One last note here is that Ron Paul has apparently lost his primary opponent, which Elam confirms. Dude had name recognition issues anyway.

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

“2004%” is how much of the vote they got last time. “Thomas” is Sheriff Tommy Thomas, who was the GOP high scorer in all Harris County-wide races listed on each Rep’s Electoral Analysis page. I’d expect Paul Bettencourt to have done a little better, but he wasn’t listed so we’ll use what we’ve got. Similarly, “Stone” is judicial candidate Kathy Stone, the top votegetter on the Dem side. As you can see, there are five districts beyond Hubert Vo’s which could maybe be interesting with the right Republican running. But like I said, far be it from me to complain if all these folks are bored next year.

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

Nixon and Hamric’s seats are now open; Nixon’s total was against an independent, so the percentage is misleading. He got about as many votes as Thomas did, so figure he’d have scored between 55 and 60% against a Dem. The only seat that stands out as needing a challenge that hasn’t arrived yet is Dwayne Boahc’s HD138. Beyond that, you have to be happy about the level of coverage.

Elsewhere, PerryVsWorld points to this Rebeca Chapa column to note the state of disarray that is the Strayhorn campaign, but what caught my eye was this:

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.

Can someone in the still-disorganized Bexar County Democratic Party pay a little more attention to this, please?

Last but not least, some race notes from BOR. Happy reading.

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  1. Mathwiz says:

    I’m going out on a limb and saying DeLay doesn’t crack 50%, and is forced into a runoff.

    Why not? It’s not like I’m putting any money on it!

    Ironically, though, I hope I’m wrong. DeLay would be the easiest opponent for Lampson in November. Anyone pulls off the upset this spring, the seat stays GOP for sure.

  2. PDiddie says:

    Here’s how the Houston Press describes Campbell:

    A Washington insider and Republican Party loyalist, Tom Campbell comes armed with a sparkling résumé and a BlackBerry brimming with high-level political contacts. He’s a former Bush I appointee; his inner circle includes a former Republican National Committee chairman handpicked by Ronald Reagan; he already has the covert support of some big-money-raising D.C. lobbyists; and he’s been quietly courting endorsements from Republican congressmen and senators who are fed up with DeLay’s fiercely partisan, slash-and-burn approach to politics.

    Can you spell ‘runoff’? I thought you could.