Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lining up to face John Cornyn

Rep. Nick Lampson will run for re-election to his House seat instead.

Mustafa Tameez of Houston, a political consultant to Lampson, said this morning that Lampson, the Democrat who last year captured the U.S. House seat vacated by Tom DeLay of Sugar Land, intends to seek re-election instead—fully knowing that his district historically leans Republican.

A Senate bid is “not going to happen,” Tameez said. “It sounds goofy, but he feels like he made a commitment to the people of Congressional District 22.” Tameez said Lampson feels a Senate try would be “disingenuous.”

That’s because Lampson’s previous coquettish behavior about testing the waters for a run against Cornyn WAS “disingenuous.”

That leaves former state comptroller John Sharp, a 2002 lieutenant governor candidate, as the most visible of three declared Democratic opponents. State Rep. Rick Noriega of Houston and Mikal Watts, a San Antonio trial lawyer, are also declared candidates.

Sharp, a moderate Democrat with some degree of statewide recognition, has to be considered the inside favorite.

But, can he pull off doing better than he did in 2002? And, though he has won a statewide race, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of big-city pull. Cornyn is vulnerable, having hitched his wagon closely to Bush, but he’s not going to roll over and play dead; he’s hitched his political playbook closely to Bush’s, also.