Pelosi passes up Lampson

Last week, Michelle Mittelstadt of the Chronicle reported that:

Nick Lampson, who earned bragging rights for Democrats by claiming the seat once held by Republican powerbroker Tom DeLay of Sugar Land, lost a three-way Texas derby for an Appropriations Committee seat.

The job is a political plum because it permits members to steer millions of dollars in federal funds to their home districts and determine the spending of billions more.

Pelosi's hand-picked Democratic Steering Committee chose for the seat Ciro Rodriguez, the former congressman from San Antonio who thrilled his party with a come-from-behind runoff victory Tuesday over 14-year Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla.

As Kevin Whited noted at Blog Houston:
Pelosi's move can be interpreted as bolstering the Texas Democrat with the better chance of being re-elected in 2008. That's Rodriguez, not Lampson.
My interpretation was pretty similar to Whited's. I didn't think it was blog-worthy at the time, but I guess it's a good point.

Frankly, I was a little surprised that Pelosi didn't appoint Lampson. Lampson tops the list (along with Mark Foley's old district) of vulnerable Democratic incumbents in 2008. If Pelosi thought she could hold onto the seat, she'd have almost definitely put Lampson on Appropriations. The fact that she didn't is a bad sign for Lampson, and a definite signal to the Houston establishment.

I've written before about possible best candidates for CD22 in 2008. I'm quite curious as to who gets in this race (Janek? Eckels? Wallace?), or if Bettencourt will get to take on Shelley (and right now, you'd have to regard him as the favorite) all by himself.

Posted by Evan @ 12/20/06 02:57 PM


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