The self-destruction of Shelley Sekula-Gibbs means that the race for the Republican nomination against Democrat Nick Lampson in 2008 in the 22nd congressional district is wide open. She came to Washington as the most obscure member of Congress, the winner of a special election to fill Tom DeLay’s unexpired term until January. After two days, everybody knew the Gibber. She made Wonkette (at least twice), Wikipedia, the Washington Post, you name it, after DeLay’s staff walked off the job following a confrontation with the new representative. It seems that Gibbs expected George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to drop by her office to welcome her to town and was not pleased when, lo and behold, they were no-shows. Later, she asked for an investigation because the departing staff had deleted all files from the office computers–only to have the former chief of staff tell the media that the deletions are required by law whenever a new representative takes over.

Peter Carlson of the Washington Post had some fun at Gibbs’ expense. Here’s the start of his story:

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs was sworn in as a congresswoman on Monday night and already she’s a lame duck. Because of a weird electoral quirk, her brief term in office expires next month. But you couldn’t tell that by listening to her.

“I’m working hard to accomplish the things I’m working for,” she said yesterday. “For tax cuts. For immigration reform. To make sure we have a good solution for the war in Iraq.”

All that? In a few weeks?

“If there’s a way to do it, I’ll do it,” she said, smiling beneath her bright blond hair. “I’ll deal with the leadership to get as much done as possible.”

And another excerpt:

Texas’s senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, both Republicans, dropped by to welcome Sekula-Gibbs to Congress. So did Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) , a former judge who once sentenced a burglar to stand on a sidewalk wearing a sign that read, “I stole from this store.” Poe is a big fan of Sekula-Gibbs.

“I think she can get down in the pits, so to speak, and start working immediately,” he said. “She has the energy to do it.”

“And this is an energy state,” Sekula-Gibbs added, smiling.

Perhaps the GOP party officials who orchestrated the choice of Gibbs as a write-in candidate against Lampson in a closed-door meeting of precinct chairs in the district might think twice the next time they decide on a power play. Sekula-Gibbs was not ready for prime time.

The 22nd is a Republican district, and Lampson, who won the seat when Tom DeLay withdrew from the race and Sekula-Gibbs lost a write-in campaign, is sure to face a serious challenger in 08. Many of the possible candidates have been speculated about before: Harris County tax assessor Paul Bettencourt, Sugar Land mayor David Wallace, Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, Republican legislators Charlie Howard
and Robert Talton, attorney Tom Campbell, who challenged DeLay in the Republican primary last spring, and Fort Bend county commissioner Andy Meyers. Don’t look for Sekula-Gibbs on the short list.