Tom DeLay Wins Texas Primary
Tom DeLay easily won the Republican primary to keep his seat, despite predictions that the Abramoff scandal and his arrogance in helping redraw his seat into a competitive one to help strengthen Republican chances in adjoining districts would lead to his defeat.
This should not surprise anyone, although it may sadden some. DeLay is a master politician who has done well by his constituents for over two decades. It is not inconceivable that Nick Lampson, a conservative Democrat and former Congressman, could beat him in November as details from the Abramoff mess become public. But, despite their low approval ratings elsewhere, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney are still quite popular deep in the heart of Texas.
DeLay helped draw his new district, back when he was considered politically invincible, during the mid-cycle redistricting that’s currently under challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court. It is, by the standards of the day, a comparatively competitive one.
The district, shaped like a bow tie, covers parts of four counties south of Houston: Fort Bend to the west, Galveston to the southeast, and Harris and Brazoria in the middle. About 40 percent of the district’s voters are in Fort Bend County with its fast-growing core city, Sugar Land, where Mr. DeLay is from; and another 40 percent are in Harris County, which includes bedroom communities for the NASA space center. The district is somewhat less than two-thirds non-Hispanic white, about 18 percent Hispanic, and nine percent each black and other, mostly Asian.
The district is almost two-thirds Republican, although Mr. DeLay ran nine percentage points behind President Bush in 2004, defeating his Democratic opponent, Richard Morrison, 55 to 41 percent whereas Mr. Bush won the district with 64 percent to 36 percent for John Kerry.
One suspects both DeLay and Bush would do less well today.
Given the delicious fun it would be to knock off the man once known as “the Hammer,” his main opponent will not lack for funds.
DeLay and Lampson begin the battle for the November general election virtually tied for cash on hand. According to campaign finance reports filed in mid-February, DeLay had $1.3 million in the bank to Lampson’s $1.4 million. According to a Houston Chronicle poll taken in early January, Lampson also had a lead over DeLay of eight percentage points.
Aside from scandal, DeLay’s biggest obstacle may be “former one-term conservative Republican congressman, Steve Stockman, who said he would start collecting signatures to get on the ballot as an independent.” If enough Republicans vote for Stockman, Lampson could conceivably win even with a plurality.
Update: DeLay can still be a jerk, however: “Before he was driven away from the fundraiser, a reporter asked why he chose to be in Washington. He said: “Do you know what the Patriot Act is? Have you heard of it? I just voted on it.””
Tom DeLay in Serious Re-Election Trouble
Tom DeLay Resigns Leadership Post
Judge Throws Out Tom Delay Conspiracy Charges
Leadership Thwarted in Attempt to Impose DeLay Successor
Bloggers React to DeLay Indictment
Tom Delay Indicted by Texas Grand Jury
Tom DeLay: Liar or Fool? (Stotch)
Republicans to Reverse Ethics Rules Changes: Hastert
Bush Not Seeking DeLayÃ¢€™s Ouster
Newt Gingrich Criticizes Tom DeLay on Ethics
Is the Cover-Up Worse than the Crime?
Democrats to Make “Ethics” Key to 2006 Campaign
Conduct Unbecoming a Congressman
DeLay Appears To Be Off The Hook
GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect DeLayÃ¢€™s Post
Ethics Truce Frays in House
HOT PINK LEISURE SUITS
POLITICIANS BEING POLITICAL?!