Monday, January 4, 2010

TX House District 32 Race Gets Crowded

Today was the last day to file for a place on the ballot in March primaries in Texas. The Dallas Morning News has already decided that there are "No serious challengers for Texas' U.S. House delegation." That may be true, but the several challengers to incumbent Pete Sessions (R) for his District 32 seat would probably object. After the jump, the candidates...

David Smith is challenging Sessions in the Republican primary. Smith has little experience, no name recognition, no money, and no prospects, but he's taking daily shots at Sessions from his perch at the "Dallas County Republican Examiner". He tries to drum up support from the Tea Party activists, but I see no evidence that he's getting any traction. The Tea Party appears solidly behind Pete Sessions at this time, despite his vote for the 2008 TARP bailout, his earmark for an Illinois blimp maker, his love notes to disgraced banker R. Allen Sanford, etc.

On the Democratic side, Sessions will likely face Grier Raggio, an attorney, son of women's rights champion Louise Raggio and husband of Dallas County Judge Lorraine Raggio. Raggio would have to be taken as a serious candidate if he weren't running in a gerrymandered Republican district against a seven-term incumbent who also happens to be head of the National Republican Congressional Committee. There are probably no caps on how much money Sessions can spend if needed. Also running in the Democratic primary is Steve Love, who like David Smith has no name recognition, no money and no prospects.

Assuming Sessions gets by Smith and Raggio gets by Love, they will face a Libertarian in the fall in the name of John Jay Myers. Myers is a one-time candidate for Dallas City Council. He's a candidate who might have a chance to rally the Tea Party activists, given his independence from the still-suspect Republican Party. Whether Myers will have better luck than Smith is having channeling Tea Party anger from 2009 into support in November, 2010 is a question that remains to be answered.

Maybe The Dallas Morning News is right that Pete Sessions faces no serious challengers. But it's a long time until November. Sessions is in a commanding position, but it's too early to call this race.

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