POLITICO : Race For Ron Paul's Seat Is A Free - For - AllSubmitted by emalvini on Wed, 04/11/2012 - 21:24
POLITICO : A Race For Ron Paul's Seat Is A Free - For - All
By DARREN GOODE | 4/11/12 5:21 PM EDT
BEAUMONT, Texas — So just how does one replace Dr. No?
While Ron Paul has been busy running his presidential campaign, 10 Republicans and Democratic ex-Rep. Nick Lampson are running to fill his open Gulf Coast-based 14th District House seat.
With his quixotic politics and repeat presidential runs, Paul — who chose not to seek reelection this year — may very well be irreplaceable as a national political figure.
But Texas political observers early on named two-term Republican state Rep. Randy Weber — touted as the most conservative member of the Texas Legislature during his first term — as the presumptive front-runner in the heavily Republican seat.
“Pre-emptive is a pretty strong word. But most people think … the numbers are there,” Weber told POLITICO. “You know, I’m flattered by that. I hope it’s right. I know it’s right. I just don’t want to be cocky. … I’m working my butt off.”
Weber is part of a three- or four-person upper tier in a race that is still very much up in the air. The congressional primary is slated for May 29, with the strong likelihood that a runoff is triggered for the GOP nomination if no candidate clears 50 percent.
“With such a large field, I don’t believe that anyone would be as fortunate to get 50 percent plus one vote,” Galveston County GOP Chairwoman Barbara Meeks said. Weber, she said, “probably has an edge because he’s the only one with legislative experience and a track record of conservative voting that would probably be important to people.”