Congressman Tom DeLay handily won his parties primary vote last night. He will now face democratic challenger Nick Lampson. Houston Public Radio’s Capella Tucker reports.
Republicans in District 22 have shown their support for incumbent Congressman Tom DeLay. The 22 year incumbant began the day in Texas and then went to Washington DC where he attended a fundraiser for himself. The big battle is expected to be in November and the primary numbers may be an indication of DeLay’s strength despite legal troubles. Rice University Political Scientist Bob Stein says DeLay did what he needed to do looking ahead to November.
“He was not looking to turn out a lot of voters. I think what he was looking to do was to find corps faithful supporters of Tom DeLay. He found them and it looks like he has run up the kind of majority that I think allows him to establish his base. Now he’s got to move from that to a November election, but, as I said before, his bigger concern right now probably focuses on the trial.”
DeLay’s legal troubles have included a criminal indictment in Travis County concerning campaign finance activities and the bribery investigation of indicated lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The date and location for the state charges have not been determined yet.As for former Congressman Nick Lampson, who had no opponents in the Democratic primary, Stein says the most important thing is that Lampson has $2 million in his campign chest.
“So Lampson I think at this point, the good news, he’s been able to raise a lot of money, more than I think people had expected. Clearly he hasn’t had to spend it yet. He has to wait and see what I think is the most significant part of this campaign and that is the trial.”
Lampson was ousted by the DeLay-backed redistricting in Texas, losing to Republican Ted Poe.
“Lampson is actually running now in the 22nd which includes about 15 or 20 percent of his old, first district, unfortunately for him, mostly republicans.”
Former one-term GOP U.S. Representative Steve Stockman has filed as an Independent. And the Libertarian party is expected to have a candidate on the November ballot for the 22nd district. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.