On Tuesday [I tweeted (based on various reports) that Larry Taylor, the House GOP caucus chair, was going to run for Ron Paul’s congressional seat–the point being that if he did so, this would be highly beneficial for Joe Straus, as Taylor could emerge as a potential rival for speaker, if he stayed in the House. Minutes after my tweet went public, I received this e-mail from a well connected Fort Bend County GOP activist: How sure of a bet do you think he [Taylor] is in the CD 14 race? When I worked for DeLay, I know they met frequently and were friends. Many of the staff wanted him [Taylor] to run to replace [DeLay]. When I talked to [former congressman Steve] Stockman this morning he had just spoken to Larry and Larry told him he wanted to run for the Mike Jackson senate seat and that the travel back and forth to DC didn’t appeal to him. Of course, he could have just been blowing smoke. The new CD 14 includes southern Brazoria (Angleton, Lake Jackson), Galveston, and Jefferson counties. It is almost entirely a coastal district. CD 36, which Jackson is said to have his eye on, includes the Clear Lake area on the west side of Galveston Bay and runs north into rural East Texas. * * * * 1:48 p.m. I just had a conversation with Rep. Taylor. He is “seriously considering” running for CD 14. He thinks it is important to “get in quick.” He expects multiple candidates to enter the contest, including Steve Stockman and Nick Lampson. I asked if he considered challenging Straus for speaker. He did not rank that among his top options. I think Taylor is a pretty sure bet to enter the race for CD 14. Close followers of Texas politics will recall that Stockman won a monumental upset by defeating longtime Democratic powerhouse Jack Brooks, of Beaumont, in the Republican sweep of 1994. Taylor vs. Stockman would be a significant race. UPDATE: SREC member Michael Truncale will be in the race. Just got a presser from the Eppstein firm.
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Weekly dispatches from the middle of the road of Texas politics.
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