Tuesday, April 04, 2006

New Blog at NRO

Katherine Jean Lopez says:

Tom DeLay is, as everyone knows by now, resigning from Congress, leaving his seat up for grabs.

Wassup with that and what happens now? I just checked in with Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia this morning and here's what he had to say:

My guess is that Tom DeLay took a cold, hard-headed look at the facts of the upcoming election, and he realized that ex-Rep. Nick Lampson (D) was likely to win. That’s my own evaluation of the polls in his district, added together with DeLay’s sub-par performance in his party primary, and the burden of ex-Republican Rep. Steve Stockman running as an Independent. DeLay didn’t want to go out as a loser, and he didn’t want the Democrats to gain his seat. Probably, a respectable GOP candidate can hold that seat now — -though we’ll have to wait and see who is selected. The person had best have few ties to DeLay.

On the whole, this is a plus for the GOP. DeLay would have been the focus of a thousand media stories in the fall general election, making the Democrats’ ‘culture of corruption’ point for them. Now he’s out of the autumn headlines, unless the Ronnie Earle trial drags on or DeLay is indicted in the Abramoff scandal. It was in DeLay’s personal interests for him to drop out, but he also did his party one last favor.

And from a Lone Star political insider:

I think it's going to be interesting to see how the replacement process is going to work. When legislative candidates drop out after the primary, it is the county chairmen from the district who pick the replacement candidate. But now I'm seeing that in a congressional race, it may go to the State Republican Executive Committee, which is even more right-wing than the county chairmen.

If the county chairmen pick, my money is on Harris County Judge Robert Robert Eckels. He was a solid conservative legislator before being elected to Harris County's top job. He also got high marks for his work on the hurricanes. He had been mentioned (and
positioned?) as a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2010.

If the SREC picks, that might favor Rep. Robert Talton or former State District Judge Jon Devine, both of whom are very popular with the social conservatives.

Despite the amount of money Nick Lampson has raised, I can't see him winning in November. Their shot was always about D-versus-DeLa


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