Tough Race to Replace Ron Paul in U.S. 14th Congressional District

When I looked over the new redistricting numbers, the Texas U.S. Congressional seat that leapt out at me as the most competitive was Rep Francisco “Quico” Canseco’s CD23, a swing seat which got minimal Republican reinforcement during redistricting. But right now I’m feeling better about that one. (Hopefully more on that topic in the next day or two.)

Right now the seat that worries me most is CD 14, Ron Paul’s old seat, where the Democrats are making a hard run to snag an upset in what looks to be a very down year for them both statewide and nationally.

Going off of Obama’s 2008 vote, the district got 9% less Republican in redistricting. The old 14th went 66% for McCain, the new one only 57%. That’s still a considerable advantage, but not necessarily an insurmountable one.

Moreover, in Nicholas Valentino “Nick” Lampson of Beaumont, the Democratic party has actually found a reasonably popular local politician with qualifying experience in Congress (including one term in Tom DeLay’s old seat). National Democrats have had this seat painted as a takeover target all year. Lampson’s FEC report includes a number of Texas lawyers and some out-of-state juice, including ACTBLUE, the Professional Airways Specialists PAC, and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Campaign Assistance Fund. (And who knows how much soft money will be spent on behalf of Lampson by outside groups this cycle?) The Lampson campaign was also one of two TX CD campaigns that flew in Bill Clinton for a campaign appearance. An internal Lampson poll released in August showed a very close race (usual internal poll caveats apply).

The Republican nominee, Randy Weber, is a two-term State Rep. Unlike Lampson, Weber had a crowded primary and a runoff to contend with, which ate up significant funds.

That Roll Call piece says that Lampson has $422,000 in cash on hand, while Weber only had $55,000. However, looking at the actual FEC numbers, updated in October 17 filings, it doesn’t seem quite so bad, with Lampson having $151,218 cash on hand compared to Weber’s $83,617.

Weber has serious (if largely expected) Republican endorsements, including Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Greg Abbott and Nolan Ryan. Ted Cruz had a joint campaign appearance with Weber today.

If you’re looking for a Texas race where your last minute donation can have the most effect, the Randy Weber campaign is a good choice.

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