DeLay’s District May Lack GOP Candidate

Texas District 22Defamed representative Tom DeLay resigned his District 22 seat in April of this year, long after winning the primary nomination, forcing the Texas GOP to file him as ineligable. Democrats quickly pounced on the issue, claiming that the GOP couldn’t pick a new candidate on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution governs questions of congressional eligibility. The case is headed to federal court and will be one to watch.

Because the Democrats argued the U.S. Constitution governs questions of congressional eligibility, Benkiser and the state GOP successfully had the lawsuit moved to federal court. A hearing on the status of the temporary restraining order is scheduled for June 26.

With DeLay’s eligibility question before the courts, Republican parties in Fort Bend, Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties have had to halt proceedings to select DeLay’s replacement on the November ballot.

But what’s even more interesting is that Steve Stockman — a Republican candidate who was running as an independent — has been kicked off the ballot by the Secretary of State because *gasp* he did’t get enough valid signatures:

Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams ruled Thursday that although Stockman had gathered more than 600 signatures in petitions aimed at putting him on the ballot, fewer than the required 500 signatures were valid.

Which leaves just two candidates if federal courts rule against the Texas GOP: Democrat Nick Lampson and Libertarian Bob Smither. This may end up a very interesting race to watch, because if Democrats get their way and win the injunction to keep a replacement off the ballot, Republicans may end up forced to align behind a Libertarian candidate.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Is that a gerrymandered district or what? You can be DeLay made himself a safe seat.

    I don’t know about the rank ‘n file, but I doubt the GOP leadership will touch Smither with a ten foot pole. They’d rather gift the seat to the Dems than give the LP any credibility.

  2. “Republicans may end up forced to align behind a Libertarian candidate”?

    Of course not.

    They’d obviously align behind a write-in candidate.

  3. Maybe we can force them to “work within the party.”

    Seriously, this could finally be a fluke that works in our favor and could start the ball rolling. If DeLay getting indicted means a Libertarian gets into office, I may have to send him some flowers.

  4. Republicans would vote for Nancy Pelosi and DiFi before they voted Libertarian in this race. You folks most not have ever backed a Republican into a corner in a debate. They always wind up admitting that they hate everything we stand for, including the limited government part. They are absolutely, profoundly HORRIFIED that we would ever gain so much as one seat.

    In Badnarik’s district, in 2004 it was a two way race: Libertarian and Republican. Guess who won by a LANDSLIDE. A Libertarian candidate would have trouble winning if he were the only one on the ballot at all, especially in a Republican district. This GOP ass-kiss nonsense needs to stop yesterday. I’m blue in the face, I keep repeating myself so much.

  5. Smither is a FairTax advocate. If this happens, get him on Boortz. FairTaxers are CRAZY and would throw themselves under the train for this guy. Oh wait, he’s not a Republican. Nevermind.

    That would be one futile angle I would try to take though. They will just bust a write in and lose rather than stand up for their professed beliefs that they don’t really beleive in anyway.

  6. As much as I’s like to believe that this is the year of the third party candidate, I just cant. Truth is, americans have becvome accustomed to certain things, they like cheeseburgers with fries and a coke, and they like having two parties to choose from, more than that is too complicated, just give me the number 1, whatever that is. As the internet begins to proliferste, and people get used to haveing 100000 tv channels to choose from, and 50 places to get a burger from, they will start demanding that type of selection from their political system, but not this year (and i am a libertarian candidate for office). Maybe I’m a cynic.

  7. Is someone here actually familiar with _Texas_ ballot access law? Can the Republicans simply organize a write-in campaign in their own primary? If the winner of the primary withdraws, can they appoint a replacement?

  8. Well, that’s what the Democrats are suing over. Can they? I don’t know, and neither do they. Texas politics are an absolute mess this year. I think it could turn out well for us. I don’t think the Republicans could win with a write-in candidate.

    By the way, that district looks like a mutilated thyroid. Yikes.

  9. you know, i was planning to take a ballot access law class from the Libertarian Leadership Schol, and then it was cancelled (along with a couple other 4th semester classes)but what can you do?

  10. Republicans support Smither? Get real. They will have the money to mount a write-in campaign if necessary. This IS Tom’s turf.

    Stockman was not a legitimate candidate. He stayed absent of the district and had a spokesman represent him. 500 VALID signatures would have been a snap. A real general election campaign would have exposed him as a quack.

    If he’s not incarcerated, look for DeLay to possibly run again. He is keeping his real home in Sugarland. Let’s hope he doing in-house prison ministry in ’08.

    I was with Bob Smither (let’s get his name right, please) on Sunday…..he did a heck of a job campaigning at a well-attended county event. This district is used to wallowing in the pork-barrel, especially since there are many drooling over the propects of millions of “fed” bucks for a Texas City ship channel project. Lampson will bring promise them the moon on that.

  11. It is my understanding that it is too late to file as a write-in candidate. A write-in campaign could take place, but write-ins for a candidate who has not filed by the deadline are thrown out. To the best of my knowledge, no write-in candidate has filed for this particular race.

    In Texas we have two legitimate LP contenders (which I judge as a candidate with a better than 50-1 chance to win.)
    They are Michael Badnarik and myself. If the Republicans cannot replace Delay on the ballot, then the Smither campaign may qualify as a third legitimate contender.

    There may be another as well. (I am looking at a House race where we have a candidate running against an upset winner of a low turnout Democratic primary.)

    Another big plus: James Werner will be running full time for Governor at the top of the LP ticket. He was interviewed on drive-time radio in Austin yesterday and did extremely well. A stranger told me today thatv he heard James on the radio and now plans to vote for him.

  12. Rock Howard – Do you have an audio file of Werner’s interview? And wouldn’t the LPTX do better to focus on Baker’s lieutenant governor campaign, since that only has three contestants?

  13. I have been looking for the Werner audio file, but I haven’t found it yet. Werner, Badnarik and myself all spoke at my Campaign Kickoff event last night. That video should be posted soon.

    I don’t know that the LPTX will focus on any race over another (even though I think they should.) I was just giving my opinion on which were potentially interesting from the standpoint of a possible upset win. As much as I like James Werner, his race for Governor is not included on my list. However in my estimation James can and will be a tremendous asset to others on the ticket.

    A really like Judy Baker too having met her at the recent state convention, but I am talking about candidates who have a real chance to win.

    A should also mention that Grant Rostig is running full time in his two way race against Lloyd Doggett for U.S. Congress. Grant has not yet assembled a team that I think can make him a serious contender, but there is always that possibility.

  14. Are things different down in TX?
    Do you mean Republicans would not rather vote for Democrats than for Liberty?

    My view may be skewed because our Republicans are Pataki and Bloomberg (Governor and Mayor). Might as well vote Democrat.

    Look forward to the congressional results to see whether the new boss is the same as the old boss.

  15. What can I say? Ron Paul gets elected here in Texas even though the Republicans put him in unfavorable districts.

    As for my race, I have been hard pressed more than a handful of Republicans who favor Kirk Watson over myself. (I was even asked by several leading Republican candidates, a former Republican office holder and a top staffer in Governor Perry’s office to change my filing and run as a Republican against Watson, but I declined. I have a better chance for a breakthrough win runing as a Libertarian in District 14 which leans 58/42 Democrat. Besides, Texas Republicans raised state spending by 19% in the last general session. I don’t want to be associated with that!)

  16. Given a three way race, we are looking at 4-8% of the vote, depending on the precincts. If it boils down to Lampson and Smither, there will be GOP defections and I would project a 10-15 point bounce on a bad day. Though GOP members in Harris and Galveston counties might vote for Lampson or simply stay home, that will not happen in Brazoria or Fort Bend Counties. We continue to get good press in FBC. I can ask for no more at this juncture.

  17. I looked at Bob Smither’s web page. It needs work if he is going to be a contender. I don’t like his solution for the tax problem. The Fair Tax is not a real solution.

    It is misadvertised as a 23% tax. 23% of the total price is the tax portion (inclusive tax) for Fair Tax. If an item costs $1.30, then .30 is the tax portion. We are used to adding tax on top of the price, which is a more honest way of accounting, and people can figure it out by themselves. Fair Tax = THAC0

    The Fair Tax does nothing to curb or reduce current overspending levels. Ron Paul does not support the Fair Tax for this reason.

    We could end up with both an income and a sales tax like Europe.

    Services are currently not charged sales tax.

    I am not prepared to pay the increased costs for a doctors visit, a haircut, my CPA, a mechanic, every purchase.

    A better solution would be to adopt the 2000 budget, and eliminate the income tax completely.

  18. Mike,

    I have big problems with the Fair Tax too, but your statement could use a few clarifications:

    1) Ron Paul does not endorse the Fair Tax, but he has said repeatedly that he would hold his nose and vote for it if it meant the elimination of the IRS. (Of course the current Fair Tax proposal does not eliminate the IRS. I would prefer that it be redrafted to state that it can only take effect if the 16th amendment has been repealed and the IRS abolished.)

    2) The 30% tax on everything would better expose the amount of money that is being gobbled up by the federal government. That would presumably increase pressure to reduce spending. That is an indirect effect, but real enough that it is not fair to state that the Fair Tax does nothing to curb spending.

    Serious efforts have been made to convince the Texas LP to endorse the Fair Tax, but so far these efforts have failed on multiple votes by about a 2-1 margin.

  19. Mike R — what is this, we’re moving *FROM* 3.5 Edition FedGov to 2nd Edition Advanced FedGov?

    C’mon, man!

  20. If Tom DeLay is not permitted to withdraw, it seems likely to me that the Republican Party would ask voters to vote for DeLay. He could say that if he is elected, he would immediately resign his seat after the election. Then there would be a special election (run like a non-partisan election, but with party labels allowed, under a new law) with a run-off if no one gets 50%.