Stockman Fails to Qualify

Disappointing news for independent Congressional candidate Steve Stockman who was seeking to replace Representative Tom Delay this Fall.

From Fort Bend Now...

Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams ruled Thursday that although Stockman had gathered more than 600 signatures in petitions aimed at putting him on the ballot, fewer than the required 500 signatures were valid.

Stockman is a one-term Republican congressman narrowly defeated by Democrat Nick Lampson in 1996. Lampson went on to serve three terms in Congress, then was defeated by Republican Ted Poe, a former judge from Harris County, after Lampson’s district was dramatically altered in a 2004 redistricting.

Ironically, the redistricting is largely credited to DeLay, against whom Lampson was running. But despite winning the Republican CD-22 primary with about 62% of the vote, DeLay announced in April that he intended to retire.

Some political observers believed Stockman, as a former Republican, would have split the GOP vote and thus make a Lampson victory more likely. But while Stockman’s exit could be seen as a boost for Republicans, they still have no declared candidate in the race against Lampson and Libertarian Bob Smither.

DeLay officially resigned from Congress on June 9, a day after being declared ineligible to run on the general election ballot for CD-22 by Texas GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser.

But no sooner had Benkiser made her declaration then the Texas Democratic Party filed suit against her, winning a temporary restraining order to put that declaration of ineligibility on hold.

Because the Democrats argued the U.S. Constitution governs questions of congressional eligibility, Benkiser and the state GOP successfully had the lawsuit moved to federal court. A hearing on the status of the temporary restraining order is scheduled for June 26.

With DeLay’s eligibility question before the courts, Republican parties in Fort Bend, Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties have had to halt proceedings to select DeLay’s replacement on the November ballot.

5 Responses to “Stockman Fails to Qualify”

  1. Gary Odom Says:

    I like Steve Stockman and think he would have been a great candidate in this race, but on the face of it it would appear that he didn’t make that great of an effort to get signatures. 600 signautres would appear to be a very small margin when seeking 500 valid ones. I am always reluctant to comment or criticize when unfamiliar with the facts and background situation, which is the case here. I just wonder if he simply made a half-hearted effort, whether he had more confidence in the validity of the signaures he got than was apparently warranted or if there were other limiting factors that I am totally unaware of from where I sit out here in California. Anyway, it’s too bad.

  2. khatores Says:

    I always assume that at least 1/5 of the signatures are not valid. Always get too many, it never hurts.

  3. Chris Campbell Says:

    That sucks, he was nice guy when I heard him speak. Sounds to me like a lot of good ‘ol boys network against Steve!!

  4. IndiPol Says:

    “good ‘ol boys network” Texas? No way! How could you think such a thing?

  5. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    After all the hijinks that “major party” types have pulled to make it hard for independent and third party candidates to get on the ballot, I don’t feel any great upwelling of sympathy for the poor, downtrodden Republicans.

    On the other hand, it’s just plain wrong—that they are temporarily caught in a trap of their own making reflects poorly on them, but the trap should still be removed.

    Tom Knapp

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