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Sekula-Gibbs Raising Money for Return Bid

Former Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R), who won a special election in November to fill out the remaining three weeks of ex-Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R) term and is running for a full Congressional term next year, held her inaugural fundraiser of the 2008 cycle over the weekend.

Sekula-Gibbs took in about $50,000 at the event, which was headlined by Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.).

“With our fundraising operation just barely under way, I was delighted to see such a positive response from the Houston-area business and Republican community,” Sekula-Gibbs said in a statement. “This first event is so exciting because it proves that we’ll have the resources, the team and the proper organization to successfully win back Texas 22.”

Sekula-Gibbs, who raised $38,000 in the first quarter of this year to finish with nearly $90,000 on hand, is likely to have significant competition in the 22nd district Republican primary. She also ran as a write-in last November for a full term in this Congress, but fell short to now-Rep. Nick Lampson (D).

Potential 2008 GOP primary candidates include Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace and Harris County Tax Assessor and Collector Paul Bettencourt, either of whom is likely to be favored by GOP insiders over Sekula-Gibbs.

The Houston-area 22nd district is strongly Republican, and the GOP is expected to heavily target Lampson next year.

Lampson was aided in his 2006 victory by the fact that the Republicans were forced to run Sekula-Gibbs as a write-in candidate after DeLay withdrew his name from the ballot and the local GOP was barred by the courts from appointing a replacement candidate.

Lampson, who previously served four terms in a nearby district, has been mentioned as a possible Senate candidate in 2008, and if he ran, Republicans would be heavily favored to take back the vacant 22nd district House seat.

— David M. Drucker

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