Wallace Ends Write-in Bid

From the Fort-Bend Herald...

Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace on Monday announced he will no longer seek the office of Congressional District 22 as a write-in candidate.

Wallace said in the Sugar Land City Hall that the Republican Party could not win the four-county seat with two write-in candidates, so he will withdraw from consideration and support Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs in her write-in bid.

“I believe that this is the best interest of the broader Republican Party and I also encourage all voters in Congressional District 22 to join me in writing in Shelley Sekula-Gibbs on Nov. 7,” he said.

Sekula-Gibbs, who is serving her third term in the Houston City Council, won the support of Texas GOP leaders on Thursday, Aug. 17 in an informal poll of precinct chairs from the district. Wallace had already filed as a write-in candidate, and did not attend the meeting.

Sekula-Gibbs is now expected to received support from the Republican Party at the local and national level. Wallace said Texas Republican Party Chair Tina Benkiser on Aug. 17 told GOP leaders that $3 million “from Washington” will be donated to the CD22 race, but only if one Republican ran for the seat.

“With this resource and a masterfully crafted write-in campaign, a write-in candidacy is a winnable venture,” Wallace said.

Sekula-Gibbs said she was pleased to hear that Wallace withdrew from the race.

“We have plans to run a complete, ground-work campaign. This will be grassroots oriented. We will be knocking on doors, making phone calls, giving people information on how to vote. This write-in process is a little tricky, but voters in Congressional District 22 want to have a voice, so they’ll do it,” she said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which is a fundraising group that targets open Congressional seats, will wait for an endorsement from the Texas Congressional delegation before taking steps in Congressional District 22, said spokesman Jonathan Collegio.

Formerly the stronghold of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, the District 22 office became vacant on June 9 when DeLay resigned. DeLay subsequently withdrew formally from the race, but only after he and Texas party leaders tried to declare him ineligible and appoint a replacement nominee. Both Wallace and Sekula-Gibbs began their campaigns in April, when DeLay announced he would be retiring in June.

Also running is Democrat Nick Lampson, the former congressman from Beaumont who was defeated in 2004 after his district was redrawn. He had raised $2.59 million by June 30, according to the Federal Election Committee, and was left with over $2.15 million in cash-on-hand.

Libertarian Bob Smither also seeks the office, and is looking for the support of disaffected Republicans.

Wallace said in the months preceding his decision to withdraw, he received support in his congressional bid from individuals at the White House, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Texas congressional delegation. He had been developing a strategy and “preparing a multi-million dollar campaign.”

He criticized the Aug. 17 Republican meeting, which was not open to the general public. He said he received calls from “people who were not allowed to vote in this straw poll, strongly encouraging me to run for the22nd district.”

“Without question, these callers and supporters questioned this made up process, and asked why 83 individuals could determine the Republican choice of candidate for over 33,000 Republican primary voters. Rather than unifying this party, it has only caused further fragmentation,” he said.

Wallace was asked if he knew why the precinct chairs did not vote for him, and simply responded, “I don’t know.”

Also on Monday, Wallace announced he would not be seeking reelection for his mayoral office in May of 2008. He would not offer specifics about plans beyond his term as mayor, but said he made the announcement Monday to give ample time for candidates to run their campaigns in Sugar Land.

Smither, the Libertarian, said Wallace’s withdrawal will not affect his campaign. He is looking to pick up Republican support.

“There remains two viable candidates on the the ballot; fiscal conservative Bob Smither and liberal Democrat Nick Lampson. I am disappointed the Republicans, by continuing a write-in campaign that cannot succeed, have put the interests of their party above the interests of the conservatives in the district,” he said.

The spokesman for Lampson, Mike Malaise, said the news should not affect Lampson’s campaign, either.

“With all the twists and turns and Bob Smither still picking up significant Republican support, we’re not planning to run against anyone, but instead will run for Nick Lampson. All our mail and television (advertisements) that we’re running right now are all positive, issue-based,” he said.

2 Responses to “Wallace Ends Write-in Bid”

  1. Joey Dauben Says:

    I’d love to see the final tally of those 83 precinct chairs and which or Smither. I heard Smither received a few precinct chair votes at the meeting.

  2. citizens for a better veterans homes Says:

    After walking hundreds of miles Eric Moose Mahoney of California is wavering in his independent stride for governor….