Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Democrats Now Favored to Take Over DeLay’s Old Seat

The Texas Republican Party establishment has rallied around a single candidate, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, in their unusual write-in campaign to salvage the 22nd Congressional District seat vacated in June by Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader.

But the extreme rarity of successful write-in campaigns for Congress and the presence of a solid Democratic nominee on the ballot in former Rep. Nick Lampson has prompted CQPolitics.com to change its rating on the 22nd District race to Leans Democratic from No Clear Favorite.

The GOP faces a world of trouble in this race because of a serious miscalculation on the part of DeLay and his party colleagues.

Party officials initially were encouraged by DeLay’s decisions to renounce the nomination he had won in the March 7 primary and to resign from Congress on June 9. Though long one of the most powerful figures in Texas and national politics, DeLay faced a still-pending trial for alleged state campaign finance violations and ethics controversies stemming from his past ties to now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.


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