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June 04, 2006

CD22 Update

As the date for Tom DeLay's resignation approaches, the race to replace him on the ballot is getting tight. Candidates were out in force this weekend at the Texas GOP Convention in San Antonio.

Eight of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination to replace DeLay on the general election ballot for the 22nd Congressional District worked the convention center crowds as if it were a traditional campaign. A select group of party leaders actually will pick the next candidate.

DeLay's successor won't be decided here, but candidates vying for his spot knew this was the best chance to reach out to party activists.

This isn't an ordinary campaign and candidates aren't appealing to regular voters. Instead, they are working the roughly 200 precinct chairs who make up the district and who will elect one representative from each of the district's four counties — Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria — to collectively choose a new GOP candidate for the general election ballot.

Those four people have yet to be chosen.

First, DeLay must provide proof to the party he is ineligible to serve. He will do so by moving his permanent residence from Texas to his Alexandria, Va., condominium.

Eight candidates made the trip to San Antonio — State Reps. Charlie Howard of Sugar Land and Robert Talton of Pasadena, state Sen. Mike Jackson of La Porte, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, lawyer Tom Campbell, former state executive committee member Tim Turner and retired Air Force major Don Richardson.

My guess is that the most likely picks for the nomination are, in no particular order, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Charlie Howard, Robert Talton, and the article fails to note appeared at the convention (and spoke to several SD caucuses), Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers. While David Wallace was seen as an early favorite, critical mis-steps on the part fo his campaign and questions about his business history have harmed him among many of us who are involved in the process of selecting a replacement for Delay. The nature of this process, however, is such that we could have a candidate arise out of nowhere once the county electors (AKA the Gang of Four) get together.

At least two of the counties have serious races to fill the elector spot, with grassroots candidates challenging SREC members for the spot. In Harris County, SREC member Kathy Haigler and Precinct Chair Steve Williams are the declared candidates candidates, while SREC member Therese Raia and Precinct Chair Pat Hebert are both seeking the spot. The issue is not a disagreement on principles or candidates. It is over the question of whether the SREC members should be the electors, given that the entire SREC will pick the candidate if the Gang of Four cannot achieve a consensus. All four of these individuals are fine individuals with strong conservative Republican credentials, but I'm personally backing the grassroots movement. Call it a question of avoiding the appearance of "politics as usual". I'm told by multiple sources that Randy Weber is the most likely choice to be the Brazoria County elector. I've heard nothing definitive on the Galveston County slot.

My expectation is that the process will have run its course and a new congressional candidate will have been selected no later than June 30 -- and I suspect several days earlier than that.





|| Greg, 10:23 PM || Permalink || Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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Comments on CD22 Update

Greg... what do you base your comment on when you say that Shelley is the most likely to win the nomination? I don't know anybody else who is saying that...

|| Posted by Chris Elam, June 4, 2006 11:03 PM ||

whoops... sorry, I shouldn't blog after midnight... didn't see the "no particular order" disclaimer. =)

|| Posted by Chris Elam, June 4, 2006 11:04 PM ||

Chris, glad you caught that -- I simply did "ladies first" ordering on the list.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, June 5, 2006 05:15 AM ||
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