politico.com, a recent Internet startup, is reporting that Robert Talton is seriously considering a race against Democrat Nick Lampson in the 22nd congressional district, which is Tom DeLay’s old seat. One person who wouldn’t miss Talton is Tom Craddick, who had to rule on approximately 2 jillion points of order raised by Talton this session. Lampson, who flirted with the idea of running against incumbent U.S. Senator John Cornyn, decided to run for reelection instead. (Note to Mikal Watts and all Watts supporters: Here’s another indication that Cornyn is not such low-hanging fruit after all.)
Lampson’s chances of holding his seat improved considerably when two stout challengers, Harris County tax collector Paul Bettencourt and Sugar Land mayor David Wallace decided not to run, perhaps reasoning that being a freshman congressman in the minority party is not a very appealing prospect. The only announced candidate is former Houston city council member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who held the job for a couple of weeks after she won a special election to finish DeLay’s unexpired term last November and managed in that time to run off DeLay’s staff and fill a scrapbook with unflattering stories. There is no shortage of wannabes, including Cornyn’s former chief of staff, Pete Olson, freshman legislator John Zerwas, and Wallace’s predecessor as Sugar Land mayor, Dean Hrbacek (they’re not exactly buddies).
politico.com is a serious political Web site. The senior publisher and editor is Martin Tolchin, who covered Congress for the New York Times and founded The Hill, a newspaper exclusively devoted to the coverage of Congress. The publisher, Robert Allbritton, is the son of prominent Houstonian Joe Allbritton, who bought the Washington Star, then the leading competitor of the Washington Post, in the seventies. The Web site has hired a substantial editorial staff. It’s mainly for Washington junkies, but I’m going to put it on my “favorites” list anyway.