Libertarian candidate in CD22

Via Greg in TX22 and Right of Texas comes the news that the Libertarian Party has a candidate with some name recognition to run in CD22: Bob Smither.

The engineering consultant is known for the tragic case that involved the kidnapping and murder of his daughter Laura Smither. The 12-year-old Friendswood girl was out for a jog in April 1997 when she was abducted.

Her body was found a 17 days later in a pond not far from her home.

Smither and his wife, Gay, helped found the Laura Recovery Center, a nationally recognized center that helps search for missing children. The center also serves as a national advocate for laws to keep children safe.

I remember this well, as do many people in Friendswood, I’m sure. You can get more background on Laura Smither here.

Uncommon as it is to get a Libertarian candidate that regular people will have heard of, I don’t expect Bob Smither to do any better than the norm for LP candidates, which is about 2% in races that feature both major parties. As with Steve Stockman, I expect any support he gets above the usual baseline will come from Tom DeLay, though in this case perhaps not exclusively. In any event, I doubt we’ll hear much more about this campaign.

One more point. Greg observes the following from the article:

DeLay is bleeding, yet he seems to be going to the friendliest of venues. The Sugar Land Rotary Club. GOP District meetings. He kind of reminds me of a basketball team sitting on a lead, just hoping that the clock will run out. Will this strategy work, or will DeLay start trying to convince some less friendly people (like me) that he is deserving of a vote?

DeLay is shoring up his base because he needs to. As I’ve noted several times before, he has underperformed in every way you can measure in CD22, not just in 2004 but also in 2002, back before all his current troubles began. He can’t afford any more erosion of his base, whether they defect to Lampson, cast protest votes with Stockman or Smither, or just skip this race and go on to the next one. Eighty percent Republican support isn’t enough for DeLay.

So yes, he wants people like Greg to love him again. He needs them to. He can’t win without them.

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