Who's Going To Run To Replace Retiring Rep. Paul?

Now that Representative Ron Paul has decided he won't seek re-election to Congress, the field is wide open for both Democrats and Republicans to replace him. The Lake Jackson Republican unexpectedly announced yesterday, over Twitter, that he wouldn't try for a 13th Congressional term. The 75-year-old says he'd rather focus on his presidential campaign. David Pitman talked to a local political analyst about who we should expect to see run for Paul's seat next year.

Republican State Representative Larry Taylor of Friendswood has already made it clear he's interested in the District 14 seat.  He says he'll make a decision in the coming weeks.

Rice University Political Science Professor Bob Stein says another name stands out — Debra Medina.  The Tea Party favorite no longer lives in the district, but Stein says there's stopping her from moving there to become qualified.

"As you remember, she ran for the Republican nomination for governor.  And I think she clearly has ambition for some other office.  Maybe the Senate is a bit of a reach."

But Stein points out Medina is to the right of Paul on social issues, and that may not go over well in the redrawn district — which will include more moderate voters in Fort Bend and Galveston counties.

"I expect to see more of a centrist candidate who takes care of constituent needs, rather than what Ron Paul did — create a national platform for debt, and other types of Libertarian issues."

On the Democratic side, Professor Stein says there's one obvious candidate. 

"I expect Nick Lampson will come out and run for this seat.  He's represented that district in several incarnations."

There is also speculation that Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski could join the fray.  But so far, he's not saying.  Stein says, as simple as it sounds, this contest for a wide-open congressional seat will hinge on money, and a candidate's track record of winning elections.

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David Pitman

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