Bob Smither has a Strong Chance to Make History as the First Libertarian Elected to Congress
(Washington, DC) ““ “With the departure of Tom DeLay, it is important to do everything we can to ensure the 22d District continues to be represented by a conservative. Bob Smither is that conservative. Bob is a genuine fiscal conservative with a firm desire to see a return to constitutionally-limited government as intended by our Founding Fathers. Write-in campaigns rarely succeed, and that is also why I ask that you join me in supporting Bob Smither as the only candidate who can defeat the liberal Nick Lampson.” ““ former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, GA
Due to the fallout from recent political scandals, Congressman Tom DeLay will not be on the ballot in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. No other Republican name will appear on the ballot in this heavily Republican district. The two names which will appear on the ballot are those of Libertarian Bob Smither and Democrat Nick Lampson.
Smither’s background highlights include being a married fifth generation Texan who received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He has worked for Incorporated Circuit Concepts, Inc., taught as an adjunct professor and worked as a consultant. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Armand Bayou Nature Center and co-founded the Laura Recovery Center for missing children in Friendswood with his wife Gay. Smither currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Regional Amber Plan – a community notification system that has saved the lives of abducted children. He attends Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Friendswood, TX.
Currently, there are several local Republicans hoping to obtain local support for an organized write-in campaign. Local GOP leaders are scheduled to meet Thursday evening in hopes of consolidating local efforts behind one write-in candidate. As difficult as it is to mount any successful write-in campaign, any GOP write-in campaign will be further complicated by the eSlate electronic voting equipment used in the district.
While Lampson has served in Congress before, he’s not an incumbent and will be facing an uphill battle in a district with a 65% Republican base. Lampson’s unfavorable ratings from interest groups on tax and spend issues won’t be very favorable with voters in this conservative district. Additionally, Democrat Lampson’s claim to fame is his work for missing and exploited children beginning with the Laura Recovery Center, an organization founded by Bob Smither and his wife, Gay Smither, after a personal family tragedy.
“It appears at this point that Republicans may lose the majority in the House. If this occurs, a vote for liberal Democrat Nick Lampson will be a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House,” Smither wrote Monday in an open letter to district voters. “I am a Libertarian, and I firmly subscribe to the Libertarian ideals of small government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility, but I have decided that if elected I will vote for a Republican Speaker of the House.”
Before redistricting, parts of District 22 were held by Congressman Ron Paul. Paul once ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate. While currently elected as a Republican in the 14th District, Paul’s libertarian ideology and Libertarian Party association are well known. As there is significant overlap between the former and current district boundaries, many voters in the 22nd District have already voted for a candidate who runs on a libertarian platform.
With no third party or independents running, the complications involved with a Republican write-in campaign against a Democrat running in a heavily Republican district would make for interesting politics.
Combining these factors with a credible Libertarian candidate running in an already libertarian friendly district at a time of great voter discontent gives Bob Smither a strong chance to make American history as the first Libertarian elected to federal office.
[NOTE: The preceding is a press release, reproduced in it's entirety, from the Libertarian Party]