Perfect Storm: Potential for Libertarian Party Victory in Tom DeLay’s Old Seat

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]

  1. This situation likely has both faces of the Jackyderm Party concerned. If Libertarians start holding Federal office they will have a much easier time getting into Presidential debates, where they will likely ask frightening questions about the proper scope of government.

  2. How cheaply can you do it, Chris? I was just talking to someone who had said the same thing. I have zero experience in that arena- can someone step up to the plate? A Babe Ruth is preferred.

  3. Expect to see the GOP pump millions into Lampson’s campaign – similar to what they did in Santorum’s race. They will do anything to keep the monopoly.

  4. Smither’s website has PHP pages, which means that whoever’s maintaining the site knows what they’re doing. Perhaps they just need help with the graphics???

    I know HTML and CSS, but that’s it (no PHP, no Javascript, no Flash). I could rearrange his current content better and make it look cleaner, but that’s about it. I suppose that would be a start.

    Nick Lampson has flash and integrated video and his pages aren’t static HTML (they use Javascript and probably other stuff I don’t understand). A page like this should be the ultimate goal, I think.

  5. Let’s all help Bob Smithers make the most of this opportunity however we can, whether it be with financial donations, volunteer phone calling of voters, or helping in web design or neighborhood leafleting. We have a chance, lets take it.

  6. Just because someone “knows” PHP doesn’t mean they know squat. If you told me someone had a haphazardly put together Cold Fusion page and thus were an expert in it, I could show you a few things. And just because someone knows HTML does not a designer maketh.

    Artus, you beat me to the punch. I was thinking the same thing about the debates tonight at work. But Mike Nelson is right… as I have said before: they will do ANYTHING to keep Smither out. The powers-that-be command the leadership of the GOP to tell their disciples to go lead themselves over a cliff… and then complain about it as long as they can blame “the left”. Expect a write-in campaign or a protest vote for Delay. Or likely, BOTH.

  7. Chris, thank you for taking my comment for what it was- I was worried that you would think me bitchy- though that was only after I hit send. ;o) I am making calls and I have seen first hand the support from the registered “R” voters. I think that TX has MANY qualified candidates, but, this is our Texas “star”.

  8. Great to hear, Steve!

    With the website issue being dealt with, that just leaves money and phone calls. If you’re too busy to make phone calls, donate money to the Smither campaign. If you’re too poor to give money, make some phone calls. And if you’re really enthusiastic about having Libertarians in Congress, do both!

    We need to spend less time talking and more time doing.

  9. “Does anyone have a high-resolution and/or vector file of the typical LP statue of liberty logo? If so, please email me at Thanks.”

    If they’d post a link to it then they could help out a lot more people who might need that graphic in the near future.

  10. What we really need is to ship in Libertarians into CD-22 to walk prectincts and convince then that people are going to get more by having Smithers in Congress than Lampson or a write-in candidate. The Republicans and Democrats do this effectively…we should too!

  11. A rally! Where’s my bus ticket?

    Good to see that national is getting involved. That’s exactly the type of thing they need to be doing – directing money and support to the best races.

  12. One thing that needs to be pointed out to Republicans is that if they don’t jump into the Smither campaign is that the liberal Dem wins and they don’t get ANYTHING AT ALL. Further, Pelosi gets a vote. And even furthermore, the Democrat doesn’t have to spend money to win and can move that money to more competitive races. If they make the Dem spend a lot of money just for the CHANCE to win, then Republicans in other districts have a better chance, because that siphons off money from their Dem opposition.

  13. Be sure to use the above when you use ballot base. Don’t expect it to make much difference to a Republican though.

    I think when you speak to a Dem, you could ask them if it’s that important to keep the two party system entrenched. And no the Dems are not COMMITTED to ending the war in Iraq or protecting your civil liberties, so why the hell not vote Smither?