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And the One True Write-In Candidate Is…

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs.

Republican precinct chairmen selected Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, a Houston city councilwoman, tonight as the write-in candidate to back in place of former House Majority leader Tom DeLay on the November ballot.

The Texas Republican Party decided it should rally behind one write-in candidate to give that person financial and organizational support.

“I’m honored to have received this support,” Sekula-Gibbs said.

Tina Benkiser, the state GOP party chairwoman, said Sekula-Gibbs was selected by a clear majority of the precinct chairmen who attended a gathering in Pearland. She said she did not have a breakdown on the vote. About 85 of the 150 precinct chairmen invited attended the closed-door meeting at a church to hear from potential write-in candidates.

A “clear majority” of the 85 precinct chairs who bothered to show up. As that could mean something like one-third of all precinct chairs, you can call me less than overwhelmed by this.

Before you ask, yes, You Know Who was there:

DeLay spoke to the group about his future and the direction of the district, those who attended the more than two-hour meeting said.

Did he utter the words “down the crapper” in regard to either of those topics? Enquiring minds and all that.

[Libertarian candidate Bob] Smither passed out literature outside the church.

“The only way to save this seat for conservative values is to vote for Bob Smither,” he said, predicting that a write-in candidate for the Republican Party would not be successful.

I’ll say again, it’s not clear to me that all three known write-ins combined will outpoll Smither. I have to admit, though, that this tidbit from Chris Elam is making me sit up and whistle.

It has been promised that the NRCC will donate $4 million dollars to supporting a consensus write-in, and more will come from state party funds.

Four million bucks? For a write-in? In a year where basically no Democratic seat nationwide is considered seriously endangered? Talk about betting the mortgage on a longshot. If this is really true (and with all due respect, I’m skeptical), I have to wonder who did the cost/benefit analysis on this puppy.

Muse has more, and I expect Fort Bend Now will have the best writeup in the morning. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Here’s Fort Bend Now. Some juicy bits:

DeLay made an appearance, entering and exiting without reporters’ notice. Two people who attended the closed meeting said he took no part in the selection process and did not speak on behalf of any candidate. Both said he was asked by another attendee if he would go to Wallace and request that Wallace end his write-in bid. Both said DeLay agreed to do so.

Also, a man identified as a member of Wallace’s campaign was asked the same thing during the meeting. According to sources, he said “I will tell him what happened at the meeting tonight.”

[…]

At Thursday night’s meeting, DeLay blamed the Texas Democrats for the fact the GOP has no official candidate for a congressional seat it has held for almost 22 years, according to attendees. DeLay also apologized for the discomfort events of the past few months have caused to the Republican Party.

Before the meeting ended, while waiting outside the church, Smither and some of his supporters became upset after being told by someone in the meeting, via cell phone, that DeLay called Smither “a Lampson plant.” Added Smither: “I am telling you that is a vicious lie.”

Smither attempted to speak to Benkiser about DeLay’s alleged remarks, while she was conducting the press conference. “It is a lie!” he shouted as reporters peppered Benkiser and Sekula-Gibbs with questions.

[…]

Meanwhile, Lampson campaign manager Mike Malaise said, the “only interesting thing we learned from this meeting was that Tom DeLay may not be on the ballot, but he’s not in Virginia either. He attended this meeting to personally enforce his will. I don’t know how any candidate can be proud of serving as Tom DeLay’s handpicked candidate.”

Lots to chew on there. I’ll bet DeLay’s repetition of the Smither-as-Lampson-plant claim, especially after Smither stated he’d caucus with the Republicans, will be a nice little blow to the base reunification efforts. I’ll bet Smither’s tone changes from here on out, since playing nice with the Republican powers that be got him nowhere.

I seriously doubt that Wallace will heed DeLay’s call to drop out (assuming DeLay actually makes it; I see no reason to start believing anything he says now). The idea that some featherweight Houstonian is DeLay’s choice to replace him after all this time has got to be a bitter pill.

Oh, and here’s Kevin stirring the pot further by suggesting that Sekula Gibbs resign from City Council to campaign full time. Let me give that idea my heartiest endorsement.

Finally, as a public service, let me help anyone who’s not already acquainted with Doctor Somethingorother by guiding you to this Houston Press story abiut her first term on City Council. Be sure to get a glimpse of the cover as well. You’re welcome.

UPDATE: Juanita says those NRCC millions are predicated on Wallace dropping out. I agree with her – I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

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3 Comments

  1. Charles Hixon says:

    E-Slate had better add a “-” in their selection of keyboard electronic characters or Se-Kukla Fibbs will get zero votes in Harris County and a handful of disgruntled voters because of it.

  2. Mark says:

    The cover pic has been replaced by a “no direct linking” warning image.

    Consider http://xs.to

    It rocks.

  3. Charles Hixon says:

    ….DeLay called Smither “a Lampson plant.”…

    ….NRCC millions are predicated on Wallace dropping out. I agree with her – I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

    hummmmm….another “Lampson plant”?

    Sounds like Lampson has a regular GOP nursery here.

    The GOP probably has a gift for Wallach.

    So will the GOP “plant” Wallach or will the GOP claim another “Lampson plant”?