Rep. Nick Lampson (D) this week e-mailed an appeal for campaign funds in response to a robo-call hit and web video launched against him by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Referring to the NRCC as “political opportunists” and likening it to a “special interest” group, Lampson pledged in the letter that “the attacks will not stop us.”
“I’ve been working hard to meet your goals in the House of Representatives since taking office in January,” Lampson wrote. “However, while I’ve been focusing on important issues, the [NRCC] and other special interest groups already started running negative radio ads and phone calls in the district.”
The Republican-leaning, suburban Houston 22nd district is a top target of the NRCC.
The committee believes voters there will kick Lampson out if offered a qualified GOP candidate. Lampson’s victory in November was characterized by the absence of a Republican candidate on the ballot — a situation created when former Rep. Tom DeLay (R) withdrew his name and a Democratic lawsuit succeeded in prevented the GOP from replacing the former Majority Leader on the ballot with a new candidate.
The NRCC recently targeted Lampson for his vote on a budget that the committee claims will saddle voters with a heavy tax increase. Lampson responded in the letter that — among other benefits to the district generated by his voting record — he is working to ensure funding for NASA, whose Johnson Space Center is located in Houston.
The Republican primary field in the 22nd district is still fluid. Former Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R), who was elected in a November special election to fill out the remainder of DeLay’s term — she served for three weeks — already is campaigning. However, she is not a favorite of Republican insiders and the GOP is still searching for a more desirable candidate.
“The primary field is still in the process of sorting itself out, but at the end of the day, Nick Lampson still remains one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress, with a voting record that doesn’t match up with the values of his district,” NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said.
— David M. Drucker